- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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BALTIMORE, Md. -- As a rookie, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was taught how to slide from no less as expert than Yankees manager Joe Girardi. This season, the Jets might want to bring in Floyd Mayweather Jr. to show him how to take a beating.
Sanchez was hit 10 times in the 34-17 loss to the Ravens on Sunday night. The relentless pressure from the likes of Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs forced Sanchez to get rid of the ball as soon as he got the snap, at times looking frustrated as he picked himself up from the field.
“You don’t want your QB on the ground like that. It’s a reflection of all of us on off when the quarterback is on the ground like that,” LaDainian Tomlinson said. “So it’s not fun, it’s not a good night, nobody’s happy about it.”
It should be noted that Tomlinson had a swollen right eye and puffy lower lip from contact during the play in which he lost his helmet.
The Ravens sent at least one defensive back in for blitzes on 13 of Sanchez’s 38 dropbacks. On those plays, Sanchez had four overthrows, three completions and two turnovers for 14 points according to ESPN Stats and Information.
“I didn’t feel rattled at all,” Sanchez said. “Just needed to get the ball out quicker. We couldn’t get the running game going. When that happened, we became predictable.”
If this were the only game where Sanchez saw contact, it wouldn’t be as notable. But Sanchez has had a litany of injuries, though none severe enough to make him miss a practice. After the opener Dallas, the quarterback underwent tests to see if he had a concussion. During a win over the Jaguars he was hit on his throwing arm as Jets coach Rex Ryan called plays designed to get Plaxico Burress a touchdown. Last week in the loss to Oakland, the GQ quarterback had a broken nose. He was careful not to complain last night.
“I took some good shots,” Sanchez said. “I just got up and I just kept playing. Nothing major. I’ll be fine.”
His own statistics reflect a bad night. There were no offensive touchdowns for the Jets, who only had 38 rushing yards and 119 passing yards -- Sanchez was 11-of-35. Sanchez fumbled the ball four times and the Jets lost three of them.
Even so, Sanchez wouldn’t call out his offensive line or the fact that he has yet to find consistency in the passing game with receivers Burress, Santonio Holmes and Derrick Mason.
“I’m trying not to get down about that,” Sanchez said. “It has to get better. But this is one of the best defenses we’ll face all year. I know we have a very capable offense, and we’re a lot better than we showed tonight.
“I just need to play better.”