One of the largest questions the New York Jets faced coming into the 2010-11 season was whether or not neophyte signal caller Mark Sanchez would be able to take the next step in his development to lead the team and become a top tier quarterback who will be capable of winning a Super Bowl championship.
That question has been answered….sort of.
Statistically, there is no doubt: Sanchez improved his Completion Percentage (54.8%), his yards per game (205.7) and his touchdown/interception ration (17-13). These were all crucial areas for him to exceed and, in doing so, he became more of a game-changer than a game-manager.
However, he did fail to produce at critical times and, once again, the Jets fell short of the ultimate prize by losing for the second straight year in the AFC Championship.
The Jets did surround him with some top notch receiving talent in Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery. The question remains whether or not they will be able to keep that group together, though. The acrobatics of Holmes and Edwards, coupled with the steadiness of Cotchery, contributed greatly to Sanchez’s success. If they are forced to part with any of them, his progress could take a step back.
The running game will also figure prominently in his prognosis. LaDainian Tomlinson may be out of gas at this point and Shonn Greene has not shown the consistency to be counted upon as the primary force in the backfield. If defenses are able to key more on Sanchez, it will almost certainly negatively affect his performance.
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Written by Frank Mazzola