With less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ loss to New England, MetLife Stadium was empty but for some celebrating Patriots fans.
A shout came down from someone in the upper deck: “Sanchise? Ha! You got to be kidding me!”
Such is the state of affairs for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, once affectionately known as the “Sanchise” due to his importance to the franchise. The honeymoon is over for the third-year quarterback as errors and mistakes continue to plague him and the 5-4 Jets. It isn’t easy for Sanchez — who unfairly carries more than his fair share of the burden — to assess his progress, or lack thereof, so far this season.
“At this point we’re 5-4. So, that’s how I grade myself,” Sanchez said. “I think, if anything, everybody in this locker room, we’re all just a little frustrated, and a little upset at this last loss, because we thought we could’ve put ourselves in a good position, but I grade myself at 5-4 and we’ll see how this season turns out.”
For the Jets, Sanchez’s worth is measured in how he performs come playoff time, a winning track record head coach Rex Ryan quickly points to when asked about the play of his quarterback. It is an effective answer that falls short of fully answering his worth to the team.
“Well, I think Mark is an outstanding quarterback, and again, I like the guys that win,” Ryan said. “And I think Mark is a winner — we’ve won a lot of games.”
The Jets realize that their best bet is still their mistake prone quarterback. With all his errors and faults, he represents their best chance at making the playoffs and a return trip to a third consecutive AFC Championship Game.
“Have we won the big one yet? No. We haven’t won the big one yet. I think if we do, then maybe everybody will look at Mark in a different light. But I think he’s a terrific quarterback,” Ryan said. “The thing that you’re excited about is that when you get that right, when you draft the right guy to lead your franchise, that usually is a good sign for you for 10 years. And I think we have the right guy.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.