Sunday, 11 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like.... Sanchize Time

Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new born king - or as they say in the Big Apple - Hark the Rex Ryan shouts, glory to the New York Jets.

It's getting towards the business end of the season in the 2011 NFL season and the cream is indeed rising to the top.

It's also time for the Sanchize - namely Jets QB Mark Sanchez - to metamorphosise from a beguilingly inconsistent passing moth to a beautiful quarterbacking butterfly.

For the past two seasons Sanchez has led his team to the brink of the Super Bowl - losing the AFC Championship away to the Colts (2009) and Patriots (2010).

Sanchez's six playoff appearances have yielded nine touchdowns and three interceptions and a QB rating of 94.3. In the post-season Sanhcez has completed 60.5% of his passes.

Now compare this to his regular season stats and you have reason to believe Sanchez CAN step up when it is a case of win the game or put your feet up for the holidays. The former USC Trojan has a pedestrian QB rating of 73.6 in his 43 regular season starts, completing an ugly 55.1% of passes.

With a 7-5 record the Jets sit like coiled vipers under a rock, waiting for old father time to poke them with his playoff stick.

Yes the New England Patriots have a two game lead in the division, and yes the Jets are just about hanging onto the second Wild Card spot, tied with the Bengals, Raiders and Titans (also making a surge to the promised land at the right time) but I am confident when we go into the 18th week of NFL football the men wearing hunter green and white will still be standing.

From 5-5 I can see the Jets cruising to an 11-5 record with a six game winning streak to end the regular season. They play the Chiefs (5-7), Eagles (4-8), Giants (6-6) and the Dolphins (4-8). The Giants cant buy a win, and although the Dolphins have finally woken up and smelt the coffee its altogether possible the Jets hit the playoffs as the hottest team in the NFL.

For all the frustrations that Jets fans experience in the regular season they will tolerate Sanchez for his plodding play if he continues to win in the playoffs.

Rex Ryan is no Joe Namath when it comes to predicting the Jets winning an NFL title, but with the Jets completely off the radar at the moment now is the time for Sanchez to push hard on the thrust button and become a true Top Gun.

The last time the Jets were in the Super Bowl was in 1969, when their flamboyant signal caller Joe Namath guaranteed the Jets the win. When it came to the crunch Namath didn't pass his team to the win, he performance managed them to Super Bowl III.

Namath went 17 of 28 for 206 yards, and no touchdowns, but most important no interceptions. Their opponents passers threw four interceptions (Johnny Unitas 1 and Earl Morrall 3) which ultimately cost the Colts the game.

That's what the Sanchize can do, performance manage the Jets to a Super Bowl - but he will need to make sure he doesn't incredibly do what his star-studded wide receiver did a few years ago - shoot himself in the foot.

Lawrence Vos
Primetime Sports NFL blogger

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