In the immortal words of Eminem, will the real Mark Sanchez, please stand up!!! 3 games into the season we've had good Sanchez against Buffalo, OK Sanchez against Pittsburgh and Bad Sanchez against Miami. Here's my break down of all 3 Sanchez's and a recommendation of what needs to be fixed.
Good Sanchez: Mark looked in full control against Buffalo. He was making good reads, was decisive with the ball and was very accurate. He finished the day 19 of 27 for 266 yds with 3 TD and 1 INT and a 70% completion rating and a 123.4 passer rating. I think he only missed 1 or 2 throws all day and of course had that bone head INT. What allowed Mark to be that good was the O-line was fantastic that day. Mark was barely touched and our receivers were running wild against Buffalo's soft secondary. Also we had a decent if not great running game.
OK Sanchez: Mark didn't make any glaring mistakes against Pittsburgh and he still looked like he was making good reads and was fairly decisive with the ball. He missed a few more throws that day and I think he was trying to force it too much to Santonio at times but I felt he played better 66.6 passer rating would indicate. For the day Mark was 10 of 27 for 138 yds with 1 TD and no INTs and a bad 37% completion percentage. What hurts Mark this day is that the running game struggled, his receivers got no separation and had a bad case of the drops. The only thing Mark had going for him this day was that his O-line pass blocked pretty well.
Bad Sanchez: I thought Mark looked tentative all day. He floated passes when he should have zipped them in, he made poor reads and missed a bunch throws and threw 2 INTs. Although in his defense, those INTs were not totally his fault. If Gates makes a sharp in cut like he should have, that probably is a completion. The 2nd INT, a combination of 3 things, a poor route by Cumberland running too deep, a good play by their safety recognizing the throw and a poor throw. Take away any on of those things and it's probably a jump ball for Hill in the end zone, it may not have resulted in a TD but would definitely not have been a INT. Stats for the day 21 of 35 for 306 yds, 46.7% completion, 1 TD, 2 INTs and a 58.2 passer rating. Mark had very little help today, the pass protection was average at best, the run game with Shonn Greene was non existent and his receivers struggled again against press coverage and had too many drops again.
So what can we conclude after the first 3 games? That we can't expect him to be a QB that can will his team to victory. Mark at this point of his career needs help from his running game and receivers. When he has help he can be a good QB. What gives me hope about Sanchez is if this was last year, we would have lost that Miami game. To Mark's credit he did make that TD throw to Kerley and that long throw to Santonio in OT. Granted we should have lost if Miami's kicker didn't choke but still, Mark in the past would have never recovered and things would have just snowballed. Same thing with the INT in the first game, old Mark would have gotten down and thrown another 2 or 3 picks. Although Mark has been a major roller coaster this year, I do see improvements and I'm hopeful by the end of the year Mark learns and matures even more and can lead us deep into the playoffs.
My 2 suggestions to the coaching staff to help Sanchez. Bench Shonn Greene, he isn't the answer. He's got no vision, no patience to wait for a hole to develop and not enough speed to get around the edge. Save Greene for the end of games where he can punish a tired defense.
The other suggestion, teach our receivers to grow a pair and break press coverage. I don't understand how soft our receivers are when they practice every day against one of the greatest in press coverage in Revis.
If we can fix those 2 things, I think Sanchez will be ok.