NFL Nation: Clint Sessions

Sanchez ends rookie campaign strongly

January, 24, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS -- Signs of growth abound for New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

His maturation process continued Sunday despite a heartbreaking loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

"Mark Sanchez, I'm sure he surprised our entire team with his arm and his mechanics," Colts linebacker Clint Session said. "He didn't buckle under pressure at the beginning of the game. I give a lot of credit to that guy. He's got a bright future."

With running back Shonn Greene sidelined by a rib injury, Sanchez was more of a factor than he'd been in a couple months. For only the second time in nine weeks he attempted 30 passes.

Sanchez completed 56.7 percent for 257 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, a bad throw, but one that was tipped to Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden.

Sanchez posted a 93.3 passer rating, his third-highest of the campaign in games when he threw more than 15 times.

His most remarkable numbers came on play-action passes.

ESPN Stats & Information tracked them all year. In the regular season, Sanchez ranked 43rd out of 51 quarterbacks who made at least 10 play-action attempts. He completed 51.7 percent with three touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 59.1 passer rating.

In the playoffs, however, Sanchez bamboozled defenses with play-action fakes.

He went 5 of 9 for 150 yards and a touchdown against the Colts. He heaved one play-action pass to Braylon Edwards down the left sideline for an 80-yard touchdown, a team playoff record.

All told in the postseason, Sanchez completed 62.5 percent of play-action passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and a 143.6 passer rating. Only Philadelphia Eagles backup Kevin Kolb had a higher rating in the regular season than that.
Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

A full slate of headlines collected during my morning surfing session...

Houston Texans

Richard Justice looks at Vince Young, coming home at a career crossroads.

The Texans win in December, but it's usually been too late, says Dale Robertson.

The Titans Houston-based owner Bud Adams has been smartly patient with his people, writes John McClain.

Former receiver Harry Williams won the Texans' Ed Block Courage Award.

McClain looks at Titans-Texans matchups.

Indianapolis Colts

Is Peyton Manning lining up for a third MVP? Mike Chappell contemplates.

Chappell looks at four of Manning's best moments this season.

The transcript of Bill Polian's weekly radio show.

Clint Sessions is a lot better player than he was early this season, according to Phillip B. Wilson.

Jim Trotter says it's a toss-up whether the Colts are going to be a threat in the playoffs.

Najeh Davenport joined the Colts and is ready to return kicks, writes Phil Richards.

A look at Darrell Reid's prep career, by Chappell.

The Colts have to be wary of Calvin Johnson.

Jacksonville Jaguars

His season over, Fred Taylor plans to play in 2009, writes Vito Stellino.

Packers-Jaguars won't be blacked out in Jacksonville.

Tennessee Titans

Please don't miss those two stories from Houston under the Texans header -- one on Vince Young and one on Bud Adams.

Kicker Rob Bironas is hoping for a long-term deal, says Jessica Bliss.

LenDale White only has 674 yards, but holds out hope of joining Chris Johnson as a 1,000-yard rusher, writes Gary Estwick.

A Nashville lab confirmed the contents of the controversial StarCaps over a year ago, writes Teresa Walker.

Michael Roos is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, says Terry McCormick.

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Critiques? I want them all, so feel free to drop a note in the mailbag.

I'll be with the Jags again Wednesday, then en route to Terre Haute, Ind., for the conclusion of the Colts' camp Thursday and Friday.

Let's take a morning lap around the division.

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans