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Geno Smith Pushes Sanchez To Perform

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Mark Sanchez is on the hot seat. Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images.
Mark Sanchez is on the hot seat. Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images.

The first week of OTAs did not go well for Mark Sanchez. His struggles continued right where he left off at the end of the 2012 season when he was benched.

When the Jets selected Geno Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, everyone knew it was to replace Sanchez. The Jets were able to make consecutive AFC Championship games with Sanchez under center but they had a much different team then and that’s why Sanchez will lose his job before the regular season is up.

In the meantime, he needs to show Rex Ryan that he is a quarterback that won’t make costly mistakes and has the ability to manage the game and the football. Last season Sanchez ranked 31 in the league in passer rating with only Matt Cassel having a slightly worse one at 66.7. In the 2011 season Sanchez ranked 23 in the league with a quarterback rating of 78.2, still in the bottom third of the league. Even the success of the Jets couldn’t get Sanchez out of the cellar of quarterback ratings, ranking 27 in league with an average 75.3 and in his rookie season, he posted a lackluster 63.0 quarterback rating and a league ranking of 28.

Over his career Sanchez has completed 55 percent of his attempted passes, and in 2011, he had 32 total touchdowns to 22 turnovers (18 interceptions and four fumbles); in 2010 Sanchez had 20 total touchdowns to 18 turnovers. The highest his QBR ever got to is a 48.0 in 2010 and every season has been 34 or lower with last season being worst season to date with a QBR of 23.4 that was the worst in the league.

Sanchez is a capable quarterback but he has lost all his confidence. All the help from Jeff Garcia isn’t going to help him beat out Smith for the job. The Jets are pretty thin in the offensive department this season but Sanchez will take the brunt of the blame and it will not help his case if he continues throwing three interceptions in practice sessions, as he did last week.

The Jets will likely only keep three quarterbacks when the final cuts are made and Sanchez is still the leading candidate to be the opening day starter. But poor performances so early on will only add fuel on the fire to get him replaced. Sanchez’s job might ultimately be out of his hands if Smith starts dropping dimes and creating plays.

Sanchez will start the season as the starting quarterback but finishing as a starter one might be an entirely different story given the Jets recent struggles and the fact that Rex Ryan is on a red-hot coaching seat if the Jets fail to make the playoffs again. This season will be Sanchez’s last chance in New York and everyone knows it.