Tag Archive | "Mark Sanchez"

“The Sanchize” needs to rise for Jets


After a preseason of hype and post-season guarantees, the only thing New York Jets fans saw on Monday night was a disappointing performance by Mark Sanchez, who threw for just 74 yards and reached the end zone a total of zero times.

As much as we’d like to believe that ‘The Sanchize’ is the godsend for the Jets, right now, he isn’t. Against Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense, Mark Sanchez looked less like the savior of a team and more like the puppy who lost his way.

As soon as the stadium lights peaked through his facemask, he performed like his knuckles were shaking and his palms were sweating. Before long, the misfired passes and bad decisions began to stack up along with his frustration.

By the time the third quarter rolled around, the game was out of his hands and when the final whistle blew, Sanchez and the Jets’ offense had been demolished. That offense finished the game with only 6 first downs and went just 1-of-11 on 3rd down conversions. Imagine the number of Rex Ryan F bombs that were flying around that sidelines.

Its situations like this that keeps speculators guessing at whether or not “Sanchize” can handle the pressure of being an NFL quarterback. Some people have the ‘It’ factor and some people don’t–right now Mark Sanchez doesn’t seem to have a trace of it.

We can blame the New York media and the Jets coaching staff all we want for putting too much pressure on this young slinger but the fact of the matter is, Mark Sanchez needs to start playing like a professional quarterback. Getting paid millions to perform, he needs to find a way to do it.

Although we are only one game into the season, if Sanchez cannot get things started soon, then it will be a long season for the Jets.

With limited patience of the Jets fans and the New York media, Sanchez better start bringing leadership into the huddle. In the meantime, this Jets’ offense has been looking like a bad work in progress in the hands of “The Sanchize”.

Used with permission of the author.

Logan Rhoades is a Los Angeles-based writer and contributor to Sports Climax. With an extensive knowledge of ESPN topics and celebrity gossip, he is known for mixing sports and pop culture to entertain his readers. Check out his blog and Follow him on Twitter @loganrhoades.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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NFL quarterbacks shattering records


Throughout the history of the National Football League the quarterback position has been one of great importance and in the minds of many NFL fans and the media the quarterback is usually the one to blame when things go awry.

While the game has traditionally focused on an even balanced attack consisting of passing, running and strong defense, recent statistics suggest this trend has shifted.

The passing game has exploded. 

During the 2009 season a total of ten quarterbacks passed for over 4,000 yards.  Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans compiled the most at 4,770 yards and nearly propelled his team into the NFL playoffs for the first time had it not been for several missed kicking opportunities earlier in the season. 

Also included in that elite list was Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings.  Though Favre had struggled with his decision on retirement earlier in the year, he led the Vikings to within one game of a Super Bowl appearance – a large part of which hinged on his arm. 

Among the other starters that exceeded 4,000 yards in 2009 are both Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.  Not surprisingly, the Saints and Colts collided in the Super Bowl with Brees’ performance earning him the Super Bowl MVP. 

Interestingly enough, the leading rusher for the Super Bowl Champion Saints last season was running back Pierre Thomas with a total of only 793 yards.  A year earlier the Pittsburgh Steelers became Super Bowl Champ with another leading rusher with less than 1,000 yards in Willie Parker with only 791. 

The trend of recent NFL drafts supports this change in style of offense on the field.  In the 2009 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions drafted Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall with their first pick of the draft.  Placing the bank on the arm of their new quarterback, the Lions signed Stafford to $78 million, $41.7 million of that guaranteed, an NFL record. 

Later in the same draft, the New York Jets moved up with a trade and selected Mark Sanchez No. 5 overall.  Sanchez later signed a deal worth $50 million.  As the largest contract the Jets had offered in the history of the organization, the deal included $28 million in guarantees.  Sanchez became only the fourth rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first playoff game. 

In the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams passed up the opportunity to take college defensive star Ndamukong Suh in favor of selecting Sam Bradford.  Although Bradford has yet to agree to a deal it is expected that the Rams will offer a deal that will likely surpass the record received by Stafford a year earlier.

Although teams are more likely than ever to place a premium on a young quarterback during the draft, it doesn’t always work as expected.  In 2007, the Oakland Raiders selected JaMarcus Russell with the No. 1 overall pick of the draft after Russell had displayed a substantial amount of talent throughout his days at LSU and was highly coveted following the NFL Combine. 

After a long holdout, Russell and the Raiders agreed to a contract worth $61 million with $32 million guaranteed.  As a starter for the Raiders, Russell would finish a dismal 7-18 before being released in May 2010.     

What does this mean in terms of the growing popularity of the sport?  The NFL leads the way among all professional sports organizations in television ratings and will receive a combined total of $20.4 billion from FOX, CBS, NBC and ESPN.  The current terms of the deal are until 2011 for FOX, CBS and NBC with ESPN maintaining rights through 2013.  Between the four, the contract of ESPN is the most valuable at $8.8 billion.  For the first time ever, the 2010 Draft was aired in prime-time and reported a 30 percent hike in ratings.

In 2003, the league launched the NFL Network.  Many argue that the network is among the most successful of the networks devoted to the four major professional sports.  In 2010, the network began airing Canadian Football League games and will air the Grey Cup.  Some criticize that the league is airing CFL games in order to stir further interest in a full-time team in Canada. 

Despite whatever motive may exist, the league has shown an interest in international exposure evidenced by playing a regular season game annually in both Toronto and London.  Closer to home, the league often makes its presence felt in San Antonio. 

While the success of all four sports leagues is apparent, only the NFL could move forward in operations without a marketing department.  When such a successful product explodes on the field boosting television ratings to levels previously not imagined the surge in viewers and in the cash flow destined to come from networks can only be expected to inflate further. 

 As long as the pigskin is being tossed for a record number of yards the NFL can continue to expect the popularity to follow.  And in this economy, it is nice to have advertisers that are looking for you!

 Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Manning Dissects Jets’ Defense Leading Colts to AFC Championship


INDIANAPOLIS – Colts quarterback Peyton Manning figured out a way to dissect the New York Jets defense and Peyton Manningoutplayed Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez on Sunday, leading his Colts to a 30-17 comeback victory and earning a trip to Miami to play the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl.

Sanchez came out swinging, holding his own and taking an early lead in the game. After trailing 3-0 on an early Kelly Stover field goal, Sanchez hit a streaking Braylon Edwards with a perfect pass and the speedy wide receiver did the rest, sprinting 80 yards to the end zone and a 7-3 lead.

The Jets appeared eager to show the Colts that they could play with them and they did in the first half. Their #1 ranked defense came out with a vengeance, sacking Manning on consecutive plays in the first quarter and making the Colts earn every point in a closely played first half.

Sanchez connected with Dustin Keller on a 9-yard touchdown pass in the 2nd quarter to put the Jets up 14-6 then after the Jets defense forced a turnover they were able to turn it into 3 points when Jay Feely split the uprights for a 17-6 lead.

Manning and the Colts would prove they were unfazed by the Jets early success, quickly driving the field with Manning hooking up with rookie Austin Collie 3 times, the final one a 16-yard touchdown that cut the Jets lead to 17-13. It was the first TD allowed by the Jets stingy defense in the last 2:00 of the first half all season long.

When it was apparent that Darrelle Revis was containing one of Manning’s favorite target’s Reggie Wayne he had no problem finding 2nd year man Pierre Garcon and the rookie Collie for multiple completions and Jim Caldwell’s team went into locker room with regained momentum.

With the Jets’ secondary covering Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne, Manning chose Garcon who was drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 draft with the 205th pick and Collie who they acquired in the 2009 draft with the 127th pick as his primary targets.

Manning threw a perfect strike to Garcon for a 4 yard TD and a 20-17 lead in the 3rd quarter and later found Dallas Clark for a 15 yard TD and a 27-17 lead. Those scores were part of 21 unanswered points by the Colts.

The Colts defense also came into play, swarming the Jets’ potent rushing attack and holding them to just 89 yards on 29 carries.

The Jets had averaged 170 yards per game on the ground this postseason. Sanchez’ stats for the game were a respectable 17-of-30, 257 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT with two different receivers finishing with more than 100 receiving yards.

Before it was over, Peyton Manning proved why he is one of the most elite quarterbacks to ever play the game going 26-39 for 377 yards and 3 TD’s and becoming the first player in league history to throw for at least 300 yards on 7 different occasions in the playoffs.

Garcon finished with 11 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown while manning connected with Collie 7 times for 123 yards and a score. It was Collie’s first 100-yard game as a pro.

Jets coach Rex Ryan summed it up during post-game. “With Peyton Manning, if you can’t disrupt his rhythm, he’s going to kill you,” said Ryan.

Finishing off the scoring Stover booted a 21-yard field goal for a 30-17 lead at 5:33 in the final quarter then the Colts defense shut down Sanchez and the Jets securing a trip to Miami on February 7th.

MORE ARTICLES by DREW BASTIAN:

Favre on Fire in 34-3 Win at Metrodome

Ravens Defense Smothers Brady and Blows Out Patriots

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Sanchez Sizzles as New York Jets Advance in AFC Playoffs


CINCINNATI, OH. – The New York Jets and Mark Sanchez are making believers out of the football world. Their 24-14Photo: AP Bill Kostroun victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game was their first playoff win since 2004 and extended their season at least for one more weekend.

The rookie Sanchez connected on 12-of-15 passes for 182 yards and no interceptions, becoming only the fourth rookie quarterback since 1950 to start and win a playoff game. Others in that group include Ben Roethlisberger who went on to win the Super Bowl, Shaun King and Joe Flacco.

You have to wonder what USC Coach Pete Carroll is thinking after blindsiding Sanchez with negative comments at the press conference when Sanchez decided to enter last year’s NFL Draft. Carroll insisted in front of the media that Sanchez was not ready or prepared to handle the NFL.

After leading the AFC in interceptions with 20, Sanchez knew the importance of not turning the ball over on the road against the Bengals and managed the game well. His passer rating was an astounding 139.4.

“He just kept getting better as the season went along,” Jet coach Rex Ryan said. “I told him this was his second season now. His first season is over. This is the playoffs.” The win was also the first playoff victory for Ryan who is in his first season as an NFL head coach.

The Bengals (10-7) got a team playoff-record 169 rushing yards from running back Cedric Benson but never got a flow going with their offense, being disrupted by constant blitzes and a variety of schemes by Ryan and the Jets defense.

In last week’s game between these same two teams, the Bengals managed a mere 72 total yards on offense. In that game Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer was 1-of-11 for 0 yards and Chad Ochocinco was shut out of the stat sheet literally with zero catches.

Saturday looked better on paper but that tandem was never able to get a flow going for their offense. Ochocinco finished with just two catches for 28 yards and Palmer was 18-of-36 for 146 yards, one touchdown and one INT.

Cincinnati added to their 19 year stretch without a playoff win.

Related Articles:

N.Y. Jets and Cincinnati Bengals Game Center – NFL.com

Cowboys Dominate Eagles for First Playoff Win Since 1996 – Sports Climax

USC Coach Carroll Shows Bitterness at Press Conference Towards Sanchez – Sports Climax

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AFC Wild Card Playoff Games Preview


This weekends’ AFC wildcard playoff round has two great match-ups.

Mark SanchezThe New York Jets travel to Cincinnati for a rematch to face the Bengals who suffered a beat down of epic proportions at the hands of the Jets in Week 17. The Bengals, playing without running back Cedric Benson who was granted a day off for rest, were dominated on both sides of the ball that game and virtually smothered by the Jets’ defense.

Carson Palmer statistically had the worst day of his pro career, going 1-of-11, 0 yards, 1 INT. Chad Ochocinco played like his hands were tied behind his back as he was contained by the Jets shutdown corner Darrelle Revis and held without a single catch. The dismal Bengals offense were held to just 72 total yards.

On the other sideline, the Jets produced 257 yards of offense with their potent rushing attack led by Thomas Jones and Mark Sanchez did a great job managing the game without turning the ball over.

The Jets showed why they are one of the most feared defenses in the NFL. They lead the league in several main categories in defense and confused and dominated the Bengals. This weeks’ matchup of former USC quarterbacks may make believers out of Mark Sanchez doubters, including his ex-coach at USC, Pete Carroll.

After a solid 3-0 start, Sanchez came down to earth and started playing like a rookie until the end of the season when he finished with good performances down the stretch to help get the Jets into the playoffs.

Do not expect a repeat of that blowout last week. Cincinnati will be playing in front of a raucous home crowd with Benson back in the pads, which may prove to be difficult for even the Jets and their defense.

In the other AFC game, the Baltimore Ravens travel to New England to take on the Patriots.

Quarterback Tom Brady and his Pats will be without Wes Welker who suffered a left knee injury last week and has been put on the IR.

Look for Julian Edelman to step up in Welker’s absence. Edelman was drafted this year out of Kent State in the 7th round after being a three-year starter at quarterback.

As a senior he led the team in rushing with 1,551 yards on 215 carries and 7.5 yards per carry average, finding the end zone 13 times as a rusher and passing for another 13 touchdowns. These numbers set a record, surpassing Joshua Cribbs single season record for yards from scrimmage.

With Randy Moss drawing double coverage, this could leave Edelman the speedy receiver open downfield for a few big plays. If he is able to get open, Tom Brady should have no problem finding him and making the tough Ravens defense pay.

Expect this one to come down to whoever wins the turnover battle. A week after winning the comeback player of the year award, don’t expect Brady to have too many problems adjusting to life without Welker.

Copyright © 2010 – Sports Climax

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Heisman Trophy Winner Bradford Considers Having Surgery


OKLAHOMA – ESPN reported that last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Oklahoma Sooners’ quarterback Sam Bradford (AP Photo/Ty Russell)is seriously considering having season-ending surgery on his injured shoulder.

Bradford has missed a majority of the season and when he tried to make a comeback last week, lasted just two series of downs before leaving the field aggravating the injury further.

The Sooners entered the season focused on making a run for a national title but those dreams were shattered in one snap of the ball. The Sooners currently sit at the cellar of the AP Top 25 with a 3-3 record and are struggling to earn a decent bowl bid.

While we watch Bradford’s stock in the NFL 2010 Draft drop like a Wall Street crash, it makes me reminisce about the day Mark Sanchez announced he was leaving the USC Trojans and opting to join the draft.

At the time, USC Coach Pete Carroll showed some displeasure at the press conference and said Sanchez “made a bad choice”.

Since then, Sanchez has been the starting quarterback for the New York Jets, playing under a contract fat enough to support even the family members he has never met ($60 million with $28 million guaranteed).

Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford who went No. 1 overall in last year’s draft is another player who left campus early. Stafford who is currently rehabbing a knee injury suffered this NFL season is the starter for the Detroit Lions and playing with a $72 million contract ($41.7 million guaranteed).

While Bradford contemplates going under the knife with a cloudy future and Sanchez and Stafford cash their checks every week, I would like to now ask Mr. Carroll who he thinks made a “bad choice”.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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NFL Update: Stafford Injured, Titans 0-4, Broncos 4-0


Hottest news this NFL weekend includes the Detroit Lions No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford’s knee injury.

In a 48-24 loss in Chicago, Stafford showed several signs of why he was touted as a No. 1 when he orchestrated Photo: Andre J. Jackson DFP several long scoring drives of over 70 yards against the banged-up Bears defense including one 98 yard drive for a touchdown.

But the show came to an abrupt end late in the game when Stafford took a sack then lay on the grass, clutching his knee in pain. Stafford limped off the field and spent the rest of the game with his knee wrapped in ice while veteran Daunte Culpepper took the remaining snaps.

ESPN reported that Stafford’s injury was a dislocated kneecap that popped back in while he was on the sideline and the injury is expected to sideline him for one or two weeks.

After starting out 3-0, Mark Sanchez, New York Jets quarterback and second slinger taken in last year’s NFL Draft finally had his rookie break-out game throwing three interceptions in a 24-10 road loss in New Orleans. Before the loss, Sanchez’ three straight wins included an upset victory against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  

Darren Sharper returned one of Sanchez’ errant throws 99 yards to the house and that 14-point swing was too much for the young quarterback and his Jets to overcome. The Saints went on to win 24-10.

In other surprising news the Tennessee Titans fell to 0-4 while the Denver Broncos improved to 4-0 with their 17-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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NFL News – Urlacher & McNabb Out; Sanchez and Stafford Debut


All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher, the heart and soul of the Chicago Bears’ defense will miss the remainder of the brian-urlacherseason after dislocating his wrist in the 21-15 loss to the division rival Green Bay Packers Sunday night.

With the injury occurring so early in the season, Chicago is expected to shop around for a replacement to fill the middle linebacker spot. Derrick Brooks is expected to join the team if the two sides can work out a deal. Brooks is familiar with Chicago coach Lovie Smith and Chicago’s defensive schemes.

Mark Sanchez silenced some of the critics including Pete Carroll, his former coach at USC, when the rookie led his New York Jets to a 24-7 win over the Houston Texans.

Earlier in the year and prior to selection day, Carroll had publicly stated that Sanchez “made a bad choice” in joining the NFL draft.

Sanchez finished 18-of-31 for 272 yards and one TD.

In other injury news, joining Urlacher on the sidelines list is Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb who suffered a cracked rib in his team’s 38-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

With McNabb’s status unknown and Michael Vick ineligible for another week, don’t be surprised to see ex-Eagle Jeff Garcia donning green in Philly this weekend when Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints visit the ‘City of Brotherly Love’.

In other rookie news, Matthew Stafford will have to wait for his first victory. Stafford appears to have a much larger chore ahead of him than Sanchez after his Detroit Lions started this season where they left off last year.

The Lions’ defense who were worst in the NFL last year were ripped apart by fantasy football favorite Drew Brees, who tossed six touchdown passes during the 45-27 blowout over the Lions.

Stafford finished 16-of-37 for 205 yards and 3 INTs.

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Aaron Curry should go No. 1 in NFL Draft


DETROIT – Now that we’ve spent weeks of listening to ESPN’s Todd McShay shuffle his draft order like a deck of cards and tried (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)not to stare at Mel Kiper Jr’s giant hair taking over our television screens, it’s our turn to make a prediction who will be the No. 1 overall pick by the Detroit Lions.Forecasts throughout talk shows and websites on who will be the pick for the 0-16 Lions have been changing like the weather.

Many had Georgia ‘Dawg QB Matt Stafford a solid No. 1 choice and USC QB Mark Sanchez as a possibility but drafting a quarterback high is a too big a gamble for the Lions (Google Joey Harrington). I expect the Lions to shy away from high-risk picks like Stafford or Sanchez.

New Detroit Lions Coach Jim Schwartz has not ruled out taking a quarterback in the top slot but isn’t quite sold on it yet, “We need to see [Stafford] throw,” said Schwartz who insisted Stafford come in for a personal workout.

Alabama OT Andre Smith, another one-time projected No. 1 overall has also fallen off the top rung of my ladder after he ditched the combine on drill day and when finally performing in front of a group of NFL observers, failed miserably. His numbers included a 5.28 second 40-yard dash and a 225 bench press 19 times.

Many of Smith’s numbers for the day would not have placed him even in the top ten of the OT’s on combine day. With a history of weight control issues and his inability to produce top numbers, it’s obvious why Smith decided to abandon the combine.

Blocking has little to do with running in a straight line for 40 yards but conditioning does and Smith clearly is lacking conditioning. The Detroit Lions have dealt with weight issues in their recent past including with their All-Pro defensive lineman, Sean ‘Big Baby’ Rogers.

The Lions responded to that problem by trading Big Baby away after the player spent dozens of snaps a game sucking down oxygen on the sidelines. It’s safe to say the Lions are not interested in dealing with another potential weight-control or conditioning issue.

The slam-dunk pick of the draft is Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry. Curry is believed to be the safest pick and as the Lions attempt to survive a decade of draft disasters and the stench that fired President Matt Millen has left behind, it is imperative they end up with a player who can step into a starting position on opening day.

That player is Aaron Curry and I expect to see him donning Honolulu Blue alongside Ernie Sims on opening day after being selected as the No. 1 overall pick on draft day.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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