You couldn't swing a dead cat this summer without hitting someone telling you that it was imperative that Mark Sanchez showed marked improvement as a quarterback this season. Because of that we thought we'd check in weekly to see how the Sanchize is progressing toward that goal.
Someone must have told Mark Sanchez that they were starting games in the first quarter this week.
After two weeks of fairly awful performances until the final 15 minutes, Sanchez showed up on the first drive against the Chiefs and helped make the game a laugher well before halftime rolled around. He moved the team down the field without a hint of struggle, winding up as the first Jets quarterback to throw two touchdowns and run for two touchdowns in a single game.
Sanchez only completed 13-of-21 passes and finished with just 181 yards, but it was hard to argue that it wasn't his best performance of the season. There were no terrible errors, no moments where he looked totally lost on the field and the offense worked seamlessly as a result.
It says something about Sanchez's development this season that his best performance came in a game that featured an offensive game plan designed to minimize Sanchez's impact, but quality always trumps quantity. Sanchez ran the team very well and made the plays he was asked to make in the passing game.
Those plays were quite a bit different than the ones we're used to seeing from the Jets offense over the course of the season. The Jets used the screen pass a lot more than they have in other weeks, something that worked out very well for them against an aggressive Chiefs defense that kept giving up big gains to Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson.
After weeks of watching the Jets try to force the ball to Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes during games, it is hard to ignore the arrival of Tom Moore as a permanent part of the coaching staff when noticing the difference in the offense. Sunday's game plan was also the best of the season, a scheme that was based solely on what would work instead of being about the Jets' intentions regardless of what the defense was putting in their way.
In the last two weeks, i.e. since Moore has been around, the Jets have been more creative and multi-faceted than they've been at any other point this season. The Jets have been very clear that his role is only as a consultant, but any good consultant exists to make his employers a more efficient and productive outfit by advising them of a better way to do things.
That seems to be working for the Jets and for Sanchez, even (especially?) when the advice is to take some things off the quarterback's plate.