Mark Sanchez turnovers sink Jets’ playoff hopes

December 18, 2012

Mark Sanchez should be hearing footsteps. Or something. (Frederick Breedon / Getty Images)

And Mark Sanchez thought the butt fumble was embarrassing.

On Monday night, he and the New York Jets, as ESPN’s Mike Tirico put it, “struggled with the most basic concept” and saw their playoff chances go poof in a 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans.


Sanchez had a big hand in that, throwing four interceptions and nearly committing his second butt fumble of the season. (Okay, that was a highlight; two of those in one season would be Hall of Fame/Human Blooper Reel stuff.) Only last week, Coach Rex Ryan said that he has “three quarterbacks that I feel good about,” but perhaps he was talking about his fantasy team because none of them really was on display in the crushing loss Monday night.

“From a competitive standpoint, as a competitor, which is what I am, I want to be in the big games. I want to coach in the big games,” Ryan said. “Obviously this isn’t where I thought this football team would be. I thought we’d be in the playoffs. That’s not where we are.”

Not even close. Sanchez, who leads the league with 50 turnovers over the last two seasons, also completed 13-of-28 passes for 132 yards and a 32.6 passer rating. It’s a measure of how poorly Sanchez played that, with the Titans trying mightily to not win, the Jets simply refused their generosity. 

“I just got to play better,” Sanchez said. “That’s all I’m worried about.”

For a brief flicker, he played poorly enough to usher in Tebow Time, at least for a series in the second quarter. He moved the team, handing off for 10 yards to Joe McKnight and then running the ball for 12. When he twice dropped back to pass, though, it was what the New York Daily News’ Tim Smith said was “a jailbreak as he was sacked for a 2-yard loss and had to throw the ball away after getting chased around in the pocket.”

The Jets planned to use Tim Tebow for another series, Ryan said, but the team abandoned the plan “You want to do whatever you can to help and find a way to win the game,” Tebow said, although of course he couldn’t because he was in for all of six snaps.

Ryan is likely to continue to go with Sanchez, whom he has said “gives us the best chance to win,”  rather than Tebow or Greg McElroy, the third-stringer who called out the locker room for its toxicity last January. But perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope for Jets fans:

“I’m not ready to say who will be our quarterback for the next game,” Ryan said. “I’m not ready to do that.”

Not that it really matters…


H/T Deadspin, SB Nation for the gifs

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · December 17, 2012

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