Crunching the QB stats: Neck and neck

August, 24, 2013
8/24/13
10:13
AM ET
You know the famous NFL Films clip, when Bill Parcells walks over to his dog-tired linemen on the bench and tries to rally them by barking, "This is why you lift all them weights"?

Well, file this blog entry under, "This is why we keep all them stats."

After charting every practice in training camp, we present the unofficial stats from the Jets' quarterback competition. Keep in mind, some of this is subjective, especially with regard to sacks (the QBs wear a red, non-contact jersey) and touchdowns (no live tackling in most drills).

Okay, enough disclaimers, let's get to the numbers. Based on practice, Mark Sanchez vs. Geno Smith truly is "too close to call," as QBs coach David Lee noted. Here you go:

Sanchez: Completed 95 of 159 passes ... 59.7 completion percentage ... Four interceptions, including one on a Hail Mary -- but went the last 10 practices without a pick ... Threw nine touchdown passes ... Sacked 14 times.

Smith: Completed 104 of 173 passes ... 60.1 completion percentage ... Six interceptions, including three in one day (the "brutal" practice) ... Threw 15 touchdowns, including four in a goal-line drill on Thursday ... Sacked 15 times.

Quick thoughts: Early in camp, Sanchez had a couple of rough practices, but he steadied himself and became an efficient quarterback over the final two weeks. He's had only three poor plays all summer -- the two interceptions against the Lions and Jaguars and the bad clock-management play against the Jaguars. Smith got off to such a hot start in camp that some people in the organization were convinced they had found their man, but he leveled off even before the ankle injury. He hit rock bottom on the final open practice in Cortland, but has rallied in recent days as his sprained ankle has improved.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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