Muscle Sport Magazine

For Jets, Mark Sanchez Keeps Coming Up Big At End

It comes with the territory. When you suit up for a New York sports team, expect the critics to line up and tell you what you did wrong. Especially when you are the quarterback for the New York Jets. No matter how well you do, the shadow of Joe Namath will be hovering throughout your entire tenure in Gotham.

Such is the case with Mark Sanchez, the third-year starter for Gang Green. He has brought the team to two consecutive AFC Championship games and still has to deal with the boo bids in the stands and newspapers alike.

“Of course you hear them,” Sanchez said about the boos coming from the crowd at MetLife Stadium. “You hear a lot of stuff.”

Fortunately for him, there were cheers at the conclusion of the 28-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills. If not for a near-last minute touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, the story would have been different.

“I felt good,” Sanchez added, referring to the game-winning drive. “We’ve been in this situation before. We rep it all the time in practice. The game’s on the line; we have to win and we made plays to do it.”


By throwing his fourth touchdown pass of the day (to three different receivers), Sanchez now has eight game-winning drives to his credit since becoming a Jet. While his statistics may not always be the envy of fantasy football players everywhere, Sanchez has found his niche in making the big plays when it counts most.

” We always say that he’s at his best in big moments, and you certainly can’t get a bigger moment than we had (then),” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “That’s who he is. He’s a stud. Sanchize. He’s done it before. I think he’s had more fourth quarter comebacks than any other quarterback in the league. That speaks enough about Mark.”

By winning against Buffalo, the Jets were able to maintain a possible playoff berth at 6-5. While still far from a slam dunk to make the postseason, it would have been nearly impossible if they had dropped the Bills game.

“You have to win,” Ryan said matter-of-factly. “You have to beat those AFC teams. We have to look forward. Any time that we spend dwelling on what’s happened is not productive.”

Because they have lost both games to the New England Patriots, the Jets only hope of getting into the playoffs is via a Wildcard spot. That means that they will have to once again win on the road to reach their goal of winning the Super Bowl. That will certainly not be an easy task, just as it wasn’t the last two campaigns. But it gets harder each year and the regular season has been an inconsistent struggle for Ryan’s squad.

But they still have a pulse thanks to the late-game heroics by the quarterback. And he isn’t even called Broadway Joe.

 Photo by Bill Menzel

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