Mark Sanchez, Jets Go From Kings of New York to World of Trouble After Home Loss
In a six-day span, "bust" took over the conversation following back-to-back losses to AFC East rivals New England and Miami. And Sanchez became the target of boo birds.
How quickly a team's fortune can turn.
Getting pummeled by a Patriots team that has regained its dominant form, on the road no less, can be forgiven. Every team experiences that one game where everything that could go wrong does and the opponent gets on a roll.
But to come back home to the New Meadowlands talking the talk, only to throw up another stinker, cannot be so easily overlooked. That's exactly what happened Sunday afternoon in the rain to the Jets.
Something was amiss on the first drive after the opening kickoff as New York went three-and-out, with Sanchez handing Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith an early Christmas gift that Smith rejected -- a Sanchez pass hit him right in the hands for a seemingly sure interception that ended up incomplete.
On the very next series, Sanchez continued playing Santa Claus, only this time, rookie cornerback Nolan Carroll held on for his first interception. Sanchez was hit as he threw by outside linebacker Cameron Wake, forcing the ball to come out low and with less velocity.
Miami capitalized on that turnover with a 47-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter to put the first points on the scoreboard. The next points would come pretty fast thanks to another Sanchez mistake.
On a 3rd-and-8, Sanchez was trying to avoid cornerback Benny Sapp coming on the blitz, when Sanchez was hit by defensive end Kendall Langford, jarring the ball loose. Quentin Moses fell on it at the Jets' 26.
"Benny did a great job of coming and executing the blitz and everybody executed the blitz and he stepped up and I was able to hit him and knock the ball out," Langford said. "We came out swinging and we made a commitment that we weren't leaving here without a 'W' and we stuck to it and we did it. It wasn't pretty in all phases but we got it done today."
Six plays later, the Miami offense was in the end zone for the only touchdown of the game, a 6-yard pass from Chad Henne to Brandon Marshall. Both of Marshall's catches in the game came on that drive -- a 10-yarder to get to first-and-goal and then the touchdown.
Sanchez would fumble three more times, though his teammates were able to fall on the remainder of his miscues. By game's end he had completed 17 of 44 for 216 yards, had suffered sacked six times and generated a 45.3 passer rating.
There were reports out of New York and on ESPN that Sanchez and Jets coach Rex Ryan went to lunch on Thursday so that Ryan could have a heart-to-heart with his quarterback. He wanted to make sure Sanchez could put the New England game and his three interceptions behind him.
Someone might want to look into what the two ate that day and where they went -- just to make sure the food choices and locale don't show up on an itinerary again.