Mark Sanchez Post Game Transcript

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On offensive miscue in the second half…

I snapped it too early. That was definitely a mistake — a clock-management type of thing. When we’re in a tight ball-game like that, those things can hurt. We got away with one there, but that’s something that will show up on film — as will many other mistakes — but none of those things can take away from the feeling we feel right now. We’re so excited about this win and the way we just hung in there at the end because I really don’t think I would have been able to sustain this thing last year and I don’t think we would have won this game. I think it’s a testament to our leadership and our coaching this year. We’re just really doing a great job down the stretch, but that’s just one of those things we need to clean up, for sure.

On if he felt some of the offense’s struggles in the red zone could be attributed to the Vikings’ defensive schemes…

It was a third-down thing and a red-zone thing. We’d been sharp the last three weeks, but they’re a stingy defense. They are a bend, don’t break defense and they don’t give up big plays. We did a good job especially when it started to rain really hard right before halftime. I thought we might have gotten a call on Jerricho [Cotchery], when he ran kind of a stick route. I thought we would have gotten a call there. Then the one on Dustin [Keller], I just threw that one too far out in front of him in the rain. That would have been a huge conversion right before halftime that would have given us a lot of momentum, especially since we were going to get the ball back right after halftime. We just weren’t our best in the red zone. We weren’t our best on third down, but when we really needed it that last drive, the line held up tight. Braylon [Edwards], Jericho and Santonio [Holmes] made some big-time grabs, and we won it.

On if he felt the offense’s struggles in the red zone may have cost the team the game…

We needed to score touchdowns. That’s the goal and that’s what needs to change next week and the weeks to come. The most important thing is that we weren’t giving the ball up and we were getting points so that was nice. We weren’t turning it over. I think last year, in a game like this I wouldn’t have had the patience to be able to check the ball down — in the rain — to LT [Tomlinson] and at least give us a chance on the goal line and to keep balls high and outside for Braylon and not under-throwing anything. It was huge to just stay in it and win this thing.

On if, having watched Vikings QB Brett Favre in the past, he thought about Minnesota mounting a comeback…

To be honest, when you play against a great quarterback, you always know he’s on the other sideline, but you don’t really think about it during the game. I think, Coach Cavanaugh told me the most important thing before this game. He said: It’s not Mark Sanchez versus Brett Favre, at all. That’s not what this game is. If you get caught up in that, you’re going to make bad decisions and you’re not going to play the way you’ve played all season. It’s the New York Jets versus the Minnesota Vikings. You’re going to play the way you’ve played all year. We’re going to be smart, take care of the ball, take our shots when we need them, and win the game. That’s exactly what happened, so I think that’s one of the most important things I’ve heard all night.

On being surprised that he has no turnovers five games into the year…

You’re surprised? [laughter] Sometimes last year it felt like I was giving it away like it was my job. It was just poor decision-making. Now I trust the backs to get out, I’m hanging in the protection and giving our guys chances and they’re really coming up with big plays. I think the most important thing to take away from tonight is sure, no turnovers, but we have a lot of improvements to make. We had a lot of penalties and self-inflicted wounds. My accuracy wasn’t the best tonight. They hit me a couple times early, got some good licks and slowed me up a little bit. It wasn’t my very best. It’s imperative that for the next few weeks and this week before the bye week that I’m real accurate because some of those tipped balls could be devastating for us.

On if he was aware of the lightning during the last drive of the first half…

Oh yeah. It was nasty out. I was just trying to signal over to Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] on the sidelines because it was so hard to get those snaps. It was like that day in training camp, that day with all of the rain. I’m thinking just don’t fumble the snap. I’m going Joe Namath hands, just trying to hang onto the thing. I was just hoping we’d stay in shot-gun and then we had to run the spread out. It was just terrible conditions. I thought our guys did a great job of just hanging onto the ball. I tried to put the ball in spots for them and I missed one to Dustin [Keller]. So that would have been huge for us. It would have been big-time momentum, so we’ll clean that up and get Dustin rolling again.

On getting hit hard on the first play in the second half…

Anytime you get big hits on the quarterback, the whole team feels it. It’s not a situation you want to be in often. Our O-line did a really good job. It was just one of those plays where they let me out on the edge hoping he’d buy the run fake. He did a really good job of not buying the fake at all and making the play. Other than that, I think they hit me one time early. It just takes the wind out of your sails but you just have to get back up and say "alright, let’s fight through this thing." And then it was third-and-18 or whatever it was. They are never fun, but I thought we did a great job up front. Jared Allen, for Brick [D’Brickashaw Ferguson] to shut him down like that, was huge. [Matt] Slauson is improving every game and Brandon Moore is rock solid. He’s a pretty underrated player. He’s a really good guard. And Damien Woody, he’s been in situations like this, in tight games, and he knows exactly how to play them. Nick’s [Mangold] anchoring the whole thing down so it’s great.

On the inclement weather attributing to his incomplete passes…

I don’t think so. I think I just missed a couple. There’s no excuse for it. It’s got to get better and it’s got to improve. We’re happy with the win and we’ll clean up a lot of those mistakes. When you make those mistakes like that, it’s great to make some mistakes and then win. That’s huge because in this league, you make mistakes and you can lose easily. As long as we take care of the ball, we have a shot.

On the sidelines dynamic with the shifts in momentum…

[Brett] Favre got hot there for a little bit and it looked like their offense was finding their groove. It was important for our guys on offense not to get down. There’s nothing we can do about that. All we can do is cheer our guys on, be positive when they come to the sidelines and go out and do what we’re supposed to do and that’s score when we needed it most. That was on the last drive. It’s important as a quarterback to stay up, to stay upbeat, keep your head up, encourage guys, get them fired up and say, "OK, here we go." I couldn’t have done it last year, I don’t think. It’s one of those things you have to feel and experience. You have to have the confidence before you can tell the other guys so it was good. You just have that feeling in the back of your mind that this is going to be fine. We’re going to get the ball back when we need it, score when we need to. We’ll get out of here with a win — an ugly win — but a win.

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