You could sum up Mark Sanchez's brief NFL career by pointing the unaware to last Saturday's game against the Colts.
The Jets ultimately won the game, which is in line with the general result of contests with Sanchez at the helm especially since they got there with a great deal of toil and trouble. The first half of the game was brutal offensively thanks to a nervous Sanchez misfiring all over the place and capped by his indefensible interception on the goal line. The defense was doing its part, but the Colts were winning and changing things around seemed impossible.
After the half, everything changed. The Jets started running the ball, Sanchez started stepping into his throws and completed four in a row during two touchdown drives. Then came another moment of doubt as Sanchez overthrew a wide open Braylon Edwards on third down to give Peyton Manning a shot to lead the team downfield for a go-ahead field goal.
That, of course, set up one final drive when Sanchez, as skittish as could be for so much of the game, looked like the most poised veteran in all the land. Completions to Edwards and Santonio Holmes got the Jets close enough to hope and then the gutsy toss to Edwards got them close enough to believe they'd win the game.
That happened all season, the nerves giving way to a steely resolve in the final minutes of an improbable Jets win. Sanchez didn't win the game all by himself, far from it, but he again found a way to do what was needed to save the day after doing more than his share to bring darkness to the land. It's almost as if he sets things up that way to burnish his reputation every time he rescues the Jets, but there's no reasonable way to believe that he's capable or calculating enough to pull that off.
The fact that he can pull it off matched with the way that he's overcome the kinds of cripplingly public doubts about his ability is why we'll never again doubt Sanchez's ability to bounce back from negative situations. Whether it is week-to-week or from one half to the other, those traits and three road playoff wins mean he's earned a pass from worries that he can't figure out a way to get the job done.
Alas, he hasn't earned a pass from worries that he's going to lay an egg come Sunday. The downside of Sanchez's remarkable resiliency is that he keeps finding his way into terrible situations. Few were worse than the hole he dug himself the last time he faced the Patriots in Foxborough and there isn't a soul in the world that can guarantee that won't happen again this time.
In the absence of consistency, though, you could do a lot worse than getting a guy capable of bouncing back from every setback.