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.
Sunday's loss to the Patriots has left the Meter utterly befuddled when it comes to Mark Sanchez.
To say it wasn't an impressive offensive performance would be a massive understatement. The Jets went three-and-out on seven possessions and gained just 255 total yards against a defense that had been more permissive than Amsterdam in the first four weeks of the season.
Despite that, Sanchez completed 16-of-26 passes with two touchdowns and no interceptions or fumbles. It is the first time all season that Sanchez hasn't turned the ball over and he showed few signs of remaining shell-shocked from his horrifying night in Baltimore a week earlier.
Still, it is hard to really lavish compliments on the leader of an offense that can barely move the ball. Sanchez didn't make mistakes, but he didn't make any big plays down the field either.
When the offense worked on two long touchdown drives, it worked by being methodical and vanilla. Sanchez made some good throws and good decisions on those drives, yet we're still left feeling like it was a step backward for the Jets quarterback.
Given what happened in Baltimore, that's a pretty strange way to feel.
Sanchez looked like the same quarterback he was as a rookie, a player who could only hurt the team and couldn't help them. That's a bad trend for a player who has proved otherwise and an awful one for an offense that needs all the help it can get.
It is at this point where we must wonder how much he's being set up to succeed. Before the game, the Jets took away his ability to audible at the line and seemed to revisit the system of risk aversion at all costs that they put into place during Sanchez's rookie season.
Managing Sanchez with more fear than confidence is never going to work out with Sanchez turning into the A-list quarterback that the Jets want him to be.
He will always be too tentative and too willing to make the safe play to accomplish anything on a grand scale because you need to take risks in order to reap rewards.
The Jets are totally lost when it comes to offense at this point and Sanchez can only bear so much of the blame for that. Brian Schottenheimer seems unable to come up with a scheme that makes the best use of the talent available to him and that includes Sanchez, who has always played his best when the team takes off the gloves and lets him try to make big plays.
If the Jets offensive braintrust don't trust him enough to do that every week, then it is time to change quarterbacks or change braintrust.