Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mark Sanchez Is As Good As Joe Namath

If you ask any Jets fan about Mark Sanchez, you are bound to hear praise. Comments ranging from how awesome he’s been in the clutch to how he’s the best quarter back in New York. Some of them even go as far as saying that although it is early in his career, he may be as great as Joseph William Namath.

Well Jets fans, you’ve all got one thing right. In his early career, Sanchez is very similar to his older Jets counterpart. Aside from loving booze and ladies (try and Google “Namath & Susie Kolber" followed by “Marc Sanchez freshman arrest”), both Sanchez and Joe Willy have a skill possessed by few athletes. They own the ability to distract everyone from the important stuff like a poor passer rating, completion percentage, yards per game, or even TD’s. Instead of focusing on those things, they force you to look at team results, earned by talented players, whose hard work got the team a win but barely got them the post game interview love they deserved. While his defense is licking its wounds from a hard hitting game, his running backs are icing knees that had to fight 8 men fronts all day, and his receivers are getting massages for the hits they took outreaching for yet another overthrown ball, Sanchez is front and center for the interview. Could you imagine a world where Trent Dilfer got some love for actually winning the Super Bowl and that Ravens “D” was a secondary story?

If you speak ill of their beloved “Nacho” (thank you Bart Scott and HBO’s Hard Knocks) Jets fans will quickly go into a defensive mind set. They will tell you that he is still young and has the most post season wins of any Jets QB in history. They will not tell you that prior to last year, that record stood at two wins with Joe Namath, Richard Todd and Chad Pennington owning that distinction. They will omit that those playoff wins should be attributed to a great defensive scheme and excellent execution and their failure to make it to a Super Bowl falls squarely on the shoulders of their lack of a consistent offensive game (Sanchez does show flashes of good play, but flashes aren’t beating the Steelers in December).

They will also omit that he was 29th in completion percentage, 27th in QB rating, 25th in yards per game, and 19th in TD passes. You should be careful of mentioning these stats around Jets fans, as they may tell you that “their” Jets are a run first team. These fans would be shocked to know that of all QB’s in football, Sanchez was 9th in attempts, which is more than Flacco, Brady, and Josh Freeman (who is a personal favorite of Snoot and mine, mostly for his awkward fro).
These are all similar positions Jets fans take with regards to the team’s Godfather. After guaranteeing a win in Super Bowl III, Joe Namath threw for exactly zero touchdowns and did not throw a single pass in the 4th Quarter. Despite all of that, Namath still won the Super Bowl MVP (the only guy to do so without throwing a TD) and is heralded by Jets fans as the savior of the AFC. All poor Matt Snell did was carry the ball 30 times for a 121 yards and a TD. Jet fans will also defend their hero’s status as a hall of famer despite his QB rating being lower than all HOFers aside from Bobby Layne, Bob Waterfield, George Blanda (a man who had diabetes and lost some toes), and Jim Finks. All of those guys had their first start between 1945 and 1949…not a very pass friendly league in those days. They will also ignore his losing record as a starter and the fact that he threw more picks than he did touchdowns.

I’ve tried having a discussion with Jets fans about Namath and Sanchez for a while. It usually just gets me frustrated. I’ve learned that the next time a Jets fan says something about Sanchez, it’s better to just tell them, “Bro, he’s as good as Joe Namath.”


  1. What a great post.

    I agree with every single thing you said.

    I had no idea that Namath didn't throw a single pass in the 4th quarter.. and that was a close game! Winning the MVP, when he threw no TDs and had no completions in the 4th, is ridiculous.

  2. Sanchez's stats did get better though. His yards per game went up 43 yards - to 205.7 last season. Also, his rookie year he threw 12 tds and 20 ints, while last year he threw 17/13.

    He has to get his ridiculously low completion percentage up (54.8%). If he can get it up to 60% or higher, he could actually be a decent QB. Out of the 30 starting QBs in the league, he's probably somewhere around #20 right now.

  3. One more thing: how come Pennington didn't get much love? I always liked him. In 2002 - his best year with the Jets - he had a 68.9 completion percentage, 208 yards per game, with 22 tds and 6 ints. Then he went to the Dolphins and came in second in the MVP voting.

  4. I actually think Sanchez may end up being a better QB then Namath in the long run. Everyone knows that the Jets winning the 1969 Super Bowl was rigged to help the AFC gain enough respect to join the NFL.

  5. @ Bottle - I can name at least 20 other players that are better. Tebow is probably going to get cut and is just about as accurate as Sanchez and while 17/13 is better than 12/20, it's still fairly terrible for a dude that was 9th in attempts last year. Also, how would you suggest he get that percentage near 60% if he's overthrowing 5 yard slant routes by 5 yards?

    @Snoot - being better than Joe Namath isn't a compliment. All he would have to do is win more than he lost, throw more TD's than picks, and have a QB rating that's higher than guys who wore leather helments and played games when the Benny Goodman band and the Lindy Hop where all the fad.

  6. And I still drafted Sanchez in my auction league last night, but it was for a dollar. I paid $2 for my kicker.

  7. Namath has the ring, thats all that matters.