5:07 pm Jul. 13, 2012
A regular column about what the Jets are up to when they're not playing football.
Mark Sanchez doesn’t fare well in the face of a pass rush. That’s the conventional wisdom, and that’s what the statistics, courtesy of Pro Football Focus's game-charting data, confirm.
Sanchez’s completion percentage while under pressure of 36.4 percent represented one of the worst marks in the league (32nd out of 36 quarterbacks to receive 25 percent of his team’s snaps). His 49 percent “accuracy percentage,” a PFF stat which adjusts completion percentage for drops, was 34th out of 36.
Also, Sanchez was sacked 23.8 percent of the time he faced pressure, the seventh-highest percentage in the league. (On the positive note, Sanchez’s five interceptions while under pressure represented a middle-of-the-pack statistic, belying the popular conception of him as a quarterback.)
But the Jets’ offensive line was in disarray last year, and Sanchez was under constant pressure, so his skittishness was a byproduct of this. Right?
No, actually. Sanchez was under pressure just 27.3 percent of the time last year, the 29th most out of 36 qualifiers. He was actually under pressure less often last year than he was in 2010 (27.7 percent).
It’s tempting to say “Bench the bum!” but the Jets’ new backup quarterback fared equally bad in these metrics. Tim Tebow’s completion percentage (34.4) and accuracy percentage (47.9) were both worse than Sanchez’s.
Tebow did throw fewer interceptions (3) in almost as many attempts as Sanchez, who threw five picks under pressure. And he was sacked in three percent fewer of his pressured attempts than Sanchez.
PLAXICO BURRESS APPEARED ON ESPN'S "FIRST Take" in late June, and was successfully baited by Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless into disparaging both Sanchez and Tebow.
The dig at Sanchez was indirect: In response to the question of whether or not Sanchez could lead the Jets to a Super Bowl win, Burress answered that the Jets’ defense was capable of the feat, pointedly omitting Sanchez from the answer.
On Tebow, Plax was a little more obvious: After stammering for a bit in an attempt to be diplomatic, he finally allowed, “That’s not Peyton Manning back there.”
What made the whole thing frustrating was that early in the interview, Plax appeared to be going through the head-down, solid-citizen routine, the same one adopted by all people who, like Plax, are looking for a job.
But the high-decibel interrogation – “IS MARK SANCHEZ A SUPER BOWL QUALITY QUARTERBACK?” – evidently disturbed his fragile equilibrium, and the soundbite was produced.
Burress was more complimentary during a recent WFAN interview, saying that Sanchez was battling a nagging shoulder injury and that "he really turned a corner."
AN ASHLEYMADISON.COM POLL FOUND THAT TEBOW was topped by only David Beckham in terms of the number of married women who want to cheat on their husbands with him.
Traditionally, male sexuality has been more closely associated with what can be called “the deflowering impulse,” but apparently this cuts both ways.
In a surprising result, Eli Manning rode his “he’s so cute!” factor, and perhaps the dry sense of humor he displayed on "Saturday Night Live" to a narrow upset over Mark Sanchez, 8.5 percent to 8.1 percent.
IF THERE'S ANYONE WHO KNOWS THAT WHAT football coaches say publicly doesn’t always square with the truth, it’s Eric Mangini.
Perhaps for this reason, his assertion that the Jets aren’t lying in their insistence that Tim Tebow is no threat to Mark Sanchez’s job should carry some weight.
“I think the things that Mike and Rex have said are the truth, that Tim was brought in to be the second quarterback, to be a change-of-pace quarterback, which to me, I love,” Mangini said.
“I don’t think there’s any ulterior motive, I don’t think there’s another plan in place. I think they saw a good football player who can help the team win. He comes with a different package that everybody else because the attention he gets, but the thought process to me is mature and sincere.”
“Mature and sincere.”
Considering the Tebow acquisition has led to the Jets’ being described as idiots or liars (or both), Mangini’s was a concise counterargument.
THE STAR-LEDGER'S SUMMER QUESTIONNAIRE SERIES recently focused on D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
Ferguson took the road paved with platitudes on this one, so there’s zero insight into something that’s gone under the radar in Jets’ postmortems: That Ferguson’s play fell off markedly last year.
According to Pro Football Focus, Ferguson gave up eight sacks last year, which was worse than all but 13 tackles and tied with eight. (Wayne Hunter, Ferguson’s maligned fellow tackle, gave up 11 sacks.)
Ferguson also gave up 22 hurries, 23rd-most among the 60 tackles who received 50 percent or more of their teams snaps. (Hunter was worse here too, at 32.)
It all amounted to a severe dropoff after two stellar seasons. In 2010, Ferguson gave up two sacks and 16 hurries. In 2009, Ferguson gave up six sacks, but only nine hurries overall.
Wayne Hunter has become the whipping boy for the fans and writers, and his achieving adequacy is essential for the Jets to contend. But so is Ferguson’s return to excellence after a mediocre 2011.
More by this author:
- Gary Cohen, the anti-Michael Kay, also broadcasts during his time off
- Blue blood: The harsh logic behind the cutting of Bradshaw, Canty and Boley