Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/2/13
My next sentence may make Jets fans punch the computer screen throw their phones or rip the newspaper in half. The Jets miss Mark Sanchez (I’m ducking). I know I know. It seems like an impossible illogical thing to say. But the 2013 Jets would be a better team right now with Sanchez under center instead of Geno Smith. Sanchez was thriving in Marty Mornhinweg’s system during training camp and Smith would have been better off watching the first four games of the regular season instead of trying to figure things out on the field. All of this makes the decision to play Sanchez in the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game with the Giants in August that much dumber. Whether it was coach Rex Ryan general manager John Idzik or some combination of the Jets’ brain trust who decided to stick Sanchez behind an offensive line that featured two rookies and two players who would be cut a week later it was incredibly short-sighted. When Marvin Austin crushed Sanchez’s shoulder that night the Jets’ hopes took just as severe a blow. Through four games the Jets have shown reason to believe they are better than people thought. The defensive front seven might be the best in football. Bilal Powell is tied for the AFC lead in rushing yards. Smith however clearly is not ready for what has been dumped on his shoulders and it is holding the team back. All offseason Smith’s talent was clear but so were his shortcomings. He could throw the ball a mile but struggled when asked to throw an intermediate route. He could make plays with his legs but carried the ball with one hand opening himself up for fumbles. Smith had four turnovers Sunday and now has 11 this season tied with Eli Manning for the lead. Now Sanchez never was Mr. Ball Security. I’ll give you that. But Sanchez could not have been worse than this. People pointed out Sanchez’s trip to Tennessee last year was just as bad as Smith’s on Sunday. Sanchez actually had five turnovers in that game. Look at who he was throwing to that night though. Chaz Schilens and Braylon Edwards who signed five days earlier were his starting receivers. Some of Sanchez’s worst turnover games in the past two years were games in which the Jets were trailing and had to throw a ton. I believe the Jets would be 3-1 right now if Sanchez had started the season. They would have beaten the Patriots if they had him back there. Smith’s three fourth-quarter interceptions that night ended any hope.
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