Is Mark Sanchez the worst quarterback in the NFL? Two numbers may suggest that the New York Jets sticking with their declared starting quarterback is the wrong decision, but a wider look at their offense, and obviously the option of Tim Tebow, may suggest something else to others.
Mark Sanchez is currently completing 48.4% of his passes. That’s the worst an NFL quarterback has had through the first five games of the season (In which the Jets are somehow 2-3) with a minimum of 100 passes since JaMarcus Russell completed only 42.1% of his passes in 2009. The same Russell who has been out of the NFL for three years, and won’t be returning. The Russell who many name as the biggest bust in NFL draft history.
Another look at history says that no Jets quarterback has had such bad completion numbers through the first five games of the season since Joe Namath in 1975. This isn’t the Namath that led the Jets to a Super Bowl win. That’s the older Namath, a one that causes plenty to argue that Broadway Joe is one of the worst playing to ever enter the hall of fame. Star power does that to you I guess. Sanchez, apparently doesn’t have enough of it.
The guy waiting for him to be demoted does. Tim Tebow, a backup quarterback, is the biggest name in the NFL. It may not have a lot to do with football reasons, but Tebow is the biggest sensation in the league, much like Jeremy Lin was last season. Now when you talk about improving your completion percentage, Tebow isn’t exactly the best of answers. He completed only 46.5% of his passes last season with the Denver Broncos.
Somehow, this helps strengthen the fact that Tebow should be playing. Mark Sanchez has done some things in his career, despite the current slump. He has led the Jets to two consecutive AFC Championship games, going 4-2 in the postseason. Never brilliant, but usually effective and quite precise, completing 60.6% of his passes in the postseason. It’s not just him that went downhill.
The Jets lost their top 3 receivers. The offensive line is mediocre at best, and there’s no running game (83 yards a game) to support him. Sanchez isn’t sacked as much as Kevin Kolb is, but the Jets aren’t doing a great job of protecting him or giving him enough time to find open players, if there are any. The J.J. Watt show this week was a perfect example.
The idea is this: If the Jets have a crummy pass offense which is predictable and slow, it’s better to have Tim Tebow as your quarterback. It makes sense. What ever advantage Sanchez had as a passer isn’t seeing the light of day because he isn’t mobile enough to make up for the disadvantages his offensive line creates. It’s better to have a much better runner and improviser than him playing behind center. Tim Tebow, it’s becoming clearer and clearer, is the answer.