A Silver Lining in Mark Sanchez's Clouds?

Kevin Casey

Are Mark Sanchez and the Jets on the cusp of turning around a so far abysmal season?

Mark Sanchez's QB play has been brutal this year. We all have seen it. But what has not been generally noted is just how good the defenses he's faced are against the pass.

Mark has been something of a Jekyll and Hyde passer. He has 6 performances with a QBR of 67 or less, averaging an abysmal 54 during those 6 outings. He has 3 performances with a QBR of 90 or more, averaging a HOFesque 107 during those 3 games.

Now here comes the silver lining. The six games where he has been horrid came against the NFL's 2,3,4,5, 9 and 9 rated pass defenses in terms of opposing QBRs. It is hardly surprising that he struggled against one after another elite pass defense, though the depths of those struggles have been unacceptably low.

In contrast, the three games where he has been very good have come against pass defenses ranked 28, 27 and 26 in terms of opposing QBRs. So what can we expect the rest of the way? For the most part, it should be fair skies and smooth sailing for Sanchez. The Jets face only one top 10 pass defense the rest of the way, Arizona, and even there there are reasons for optimism, as Arizona has been coming apart at the seams of late and will be facing the long west to east trip. The Jets also face the # 16, 18, 21, 27, 28 and 30 pass defenses. If Sanchez can attack some of those bottom feeders like he has against similar defenses this season, there is reason to believe we lie on the cusp of a mini Sanchez renaissance. While it's certainly not a sure thing, it would not be shocking if Mark compiles a QBR of 90 or better over the last 7 games. If he does, there is a very good chance the Jets finish with 7 or even 8 wins. A far cry from preseason playoff hopes, to be sure, but not awful considering the loss of Revis and Holmes, the early season absence of Keller, the injuries to Hill, McKnight, Cumberland, Trufant, Mauga, Baker and Ellis, and the playing hurt status of Pouha with his bad back.

We'll see how this all plays out, but we may well be seeing an unfortunate case of premature capitulation on the part of Jets fans.

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