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The Seattle Flu: Why Sanchez and the NY Jets Fell Ill Against the Seahawks

A look at how the Seahawks' demolition of Mark Sanchez in Seattle was par for the course this year.

Otto Greule Jr

This is not an attempt to sugarcoat Mark Sanchez's performance yesterday in Seattle. This is not an attempt to say it wasn't so bad - it was Tebowawful. This is not making excuses for the guy, and it is not an attempt to defend his position as starting QB of the NY Jets.

This article is one thing, and one thing only - an attempt to shed a little light on just how difficult it has been to be an opposing QB in Seattle this year. That defense is no joke. It is tough and physical and has an outstanding secondary. So far this year the Seattle defense has played 5 games at home. The following is what they have done to opposing QBs. I will be using only one number here, QBR, to approximate QB performance. It isn't perfect, but it will give a broad sense of just how tough Seattle has been on every QB they have faced this year. The first number listed after each QB's name is his QBR for the season, including the Seattle game. The second number is his QBR in Seattle. Note just how much QBs have fallen off the cliff in Seattle.

Tony Romo 85 ........ 74

Tom Brady 100 ......... 79

Aaron Rodgers 107 ......... 81

Christian Ponder 85 ......... 37

Mark Sanchez 70 ......... 41

The average decline in QBR for a QB playing in Seattle from full season numbers this year has been a whopping 25 points. Brady and Rodgers had their worst games of the year; Romo, Ponder and Sanchez all had their 2nd worst. Ponder, who is the only QB on that list roughly comparable to Sanchez, was held to 63 (!) yards passing and 2.9 yards per attempt. Great QBs have been made mediocre by Seattle at home, and mediocre QBs have been made atrocious.

None of this is to say Mark did not have a bad game yesterday - he certainly did. But it may be useful to put into perspective just how miserable the Seattle defense has made life for even immortal QBs in Seattle. Given how tough Seattle has been on opposing QBs this year, it should not be surprising that Mark caught the Seattle Flu.