Mike Sando's MVP Watch

Quarterback Mark Sanchez has emerged as Mr. Clutch for the 8-2 New York Jets in recent weeks.

His team is 5-0 on the road and 3-0 in the AFC East, with Sanchez making the difference at key moments during the team's current three-game winning streak.

Clutch quarterback plus winning record plus New York market should seemingly equal a strong MVP candidacy. It still might for Sanchez, but I couldn't find a spot for the NFL's 22nd-rated passer on an increasingly competitive top 10 list heading into Week 12.

Sanchez is gaining momentum. He's averaging 301.5 yards per game over his last four starts and his efficiency rating has improved each of those weeks. Sanchez had never passed for more than 272 yards before Week 8.

Among the highlights for Sanchez over the past three weeks:

  • Threw the winning 6-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes against Houston with 16 seconds remaining.

  • Threw the winning 37-yard TD pass to Holmes against Cleveland in overtime.

  • Threw a 52-yard pass to Holmes in overtime to set up the winning field goal against Detroit.

Houston, Cleveland and Detroit aren't playoff-caliber teams right now (one reason the Texans' Arian Foster isn't on the MVP Watch list this week, by the way). The Jets still have road games against the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. What might Sanchez have in store?