Should Sanchez have finished Sunday's game?

October, 19, 2009
10/19/09
1:52
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The New York Daily News' back-page headline captured the emotion:

Broadway Schmo.

I couldn't think of a better way to describe Mark Sanchez a morning after he threw five interceptions.

Would the New York Jets have won had they removed Sanchez from Sunday's game and replaced him with Kellen Clemens?

"The Fifth Down," a sensational blog at NYTimes.com, is maintaining an open thread that asks if the Jets should have yanked Sanchez from Sunday's rancid performance against the Buffalo Bills.

Sanchez threw five interceptions in a 16-13 overtime loss. His passer rating was 8.3, while Thomas Jones averaged 9.5 yards per carry.

The blog links a statistical analysis from Chase Stuart of ProFootballReference.com. What Stuart found:
  • Using the site's formula for adjusted yards per pass attempt, Sanchez had the fifth-worst performance since 1978 and one of the worst games from any era in NFL history for a quarterback with 25 attempts.
  • From 1932 through 2008, teams that gained more than 300 yards rushing were 142-8. Since 1978, when rules were implemented to stimulate the passing game, they were 39-0.

Here are a few more numbers from Elias Sports Bureau to illustrate Sanchez's epically awful display.
  • Sanchez is only the third first-round draft pick in 40 years to throw five interceptions in a game as a rookie. The others were Drew Bledsoe in 1993 and Heath Shuler in 1994.
  • The five interceptions allowed the Bills to become the first team in 65 years to win despite allowing 318 rushing yards. The Washington Redskins gave up 320 rushing yards but beat the Cleveland Rams 14-10 in 1944.
  • Jones' 210 rushing yards were the fifth-most in a defeat since the NFL-AFL merger. The top four: O.J. Simpson, 273 yards (for the Bills) in 1976; Ricky Williams, 228 yards in 2002 (against the Bills); Gerald Riggs, 221 yards in 1989; John Fugua, 218 yards in 1970.

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