After last week’s shocking news out of Florham Park that against all statistical data—both individual and team—Rex Ryan would be going back to starter Mark Sanchez to line up under center once again, the expectation would be another bad performance, followed by another week of questions.
Instead the Jets dumbed down the offense for Sanchez against the two-win Jaguars, giving Sanchez the job of handing the ball off or calling for short-yardage, makeable throws.
Sanchez passed for just 111 yards on 12/19 passing and running backs Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell ran the ball a combined 39 times for 155 yards as the Jets ran over the Jags, who currently own the league’s second-worst defense.
Ryan had his own spin on it.
“I think each opponent is different, so you tailor a game plan accordingly. We felt good about both phases. Being able to run the ball, though, if you can pick your poison, I think you’d prefer to run it because that controls the clock, controls the game more than if you have to throw it every snap,” said Rex Ryan on Monday according to a report on the team’s website. “Clearly, we were confident throwing the ball against this group. It kind of had a little step back when Stephen [Hill] went down, we were down to three receivers, so that was the issue.”
Hill went down on the team’s first drive of the second quarter Sunday. To that point the Jets had executed six pass plays as compared to nine run plays.
One week after sticking his neck out farther than he’s ever stuck it out for the much-embattled Sanchez though, Ryan clearly couldn’t have the move backfire—so he kept the ball out of the hands of the struggling signal-caller, even more so after Hill was injured.
Sanchez is one of those quarterbacks with the arm strength and ability to make all the throws—yet somehow he doesn’t. Currently he ranks 34th out of 36 qualifiers with a quarterback rating of 71.8, has more interceptions (13) than TDs (12), and has clearly lost any backing from the mostly booing home crowd.
“Being able to run the ball, though, if you can pick your poison, I think you’d prefer to run it because that controls the clock, controls the game more than if you have to throw it every snap.”—Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan
The Jets have been blown out three times at home by losses of more than 20 points in games that were over by third quarter in a stadium nearly void of Jets’ fans by the fourth.
Before making his start Sunday against Jacksonville, Sanchez’ last outing had resulted in all nine of his team’s possessions ending with either an interception, missed field goal, or punt. Of course that meant zero points were put up on the scoreboard during that time.
Ryan has described his reasoning for sticking with Sanchez as “the guy that gives us the best chance to win” while trying to keep any and all statistics out of how/why he arrived at that decision. He knows statistics won’t back up much on a Sanchez decision.
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