Week 7 of the NFL season was the perfect example of the difference between the two New York quarterbacks.
First, Eli Manning and the Giants were pushed to the limit against Robert Griffin III and the new look Redskins. For much of the game, Manning was out performed by RGIII who played like a veteran and even gave his team a lead with under two minutes remaining.
Manning was erratic for much of the game and was missing throws that no one expects him to miss anymore. Before their last drive, Manning was 25-38 for 260 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. Despite playing his worst game of the year, the Giants still had a chance to win.
Eli Manning (10) and Mark Sanchez (6) are right now playing on two different levels, and their team’s performance has been affected by both quarterbacks. PHOTO COURTESY: JIM MCISSAC/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA
On the second play of final drive, Manning found Victor Cruz on a 77 yard pass that was just as shocking as it was impressive. Manning was not himself for 99 percent of the game, but with one pass reminded everyone why he is considered an elite quarterback.
Then in the 4 pm game, the Jets went into Foxboro and were looking to pull an improbable upset against the Patriots. Quarterback Mark Sanchez played arguably his best game of the season and looked as if he was going to silent many of his critics; for one week at least.
In his most accurate performance of the season, Sanchez was 28-41 for 328 yards with a touchdown late that tied the game. The Jets even managed to take a lead after a fumble on a kickoff return for the Patriots. However, the Patriots were able to tie the game with a last second field goal.
In the overtime, the Patriots kicked a field goal on their first drive which gave the Jets an opportunity to tie or win the game. Their possession and the game ended when Sanchez got sacked and fumbled the football. Everything he had done all game was thrown right out the window and although he played a sold game, his starting job was yet again up for debate.
Although Sunday was good for some New Yorkers and terrible for others, it painted a perfect picture of the difference between Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez. An elite quarterback, like Manning, can lead his team to victory even when he has a bad game. Sanchez on the other hand is showing that right now, he does not have that killer instinct to finish out a win against a good team.
The play of both quarterbacks has been directly linked to the success of their respective teams. Manning can now be seen as one of the best quarterbacks in the league and to no surprise to anyone, the Giants are currently playing like one of the best teams in the NFL.
Sanchez’s mediocre play has translated over to the team’s 3-4 record. It’s too early to say it’s over for Sanchez, but the clock is certainly ticking.
The differences in the quarterbacks should be obvious when they are pointed out. Manning has two Super Bowl rings while Sanchez will be lucky to get one at this rate. Manning has played in a Pro Bowl and Sanchez looks like he’s playing in the “Toilet Bowl.”
Even worse news for Sanchez: He and actress girlfriend Eva Longoria officially have broken up. Can it get much worse for Gang Green’s quarterback?
The difference in the quarterbacks has been the difference of the two teams. While the Giants can call themselves one of the elite teams in the league, the Jets are just seen as an average team at best. And it all starts with the quarterbacks.
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Contributor – Dave Ragazzo – @DRagazzo_Sports
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