We end our list of breakout candidates with perhaps the most important player on the team, the quarterback. We have seen flashes of brilliance from Mark Sanchez. You can say the defense and run game have carried him in the regular season and gotten him to a certain point. In the Playoffs in 2009 and 2010, though, the Jets won because of him. He has shown all of the intangibles you could hope for. He has taken on a bigger leadership role and seems to be at his best in the biggest moments, at the end of games and in big games. When he is playing well, it is a thing of beauty.
It is a matter of consistency. Will this be the year Sanchez finally gets comfortable as a professional and plays close to his top ball every week? Can he at least minimize the really bad games? Can he hit 55% of his passes when he is playing badly instead of under 50%?
Everything is set up for Mark. He has the defense and running game. Despite recent losses, he still has talent at receiver. In two years, we have seen real growth from the quarterback. I think it is a matter of when, not if that he becomes a top tier guy at his position. He has just looked too good in too many big moments already to not make the jump. He went so high in the Draft because of his big talent and potential. Will 2011 be the year he makes the leap?