IT COULD HAPPENBy Ian Begley
ESPNNewYork.com Call me an eternal optimist. Call me crazy. Call me delusional. Call me whatever you want. But I still see a day in the near future when we will all think of Mark Sanchez as "the man." I know, I know. It's certainly hard to fathom after what you saw Sunday night:
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
I DON'T SEE ITBy Mike Mazzeo
ESPNNewYork.com Mark Sanchez may be the man when he's Hollywooding on the cover of magazines, but he won't be the man to lead the Jets to their first Super Bowl title since 1969. Yes, he's gotten close. Yes, his four playoff road victories have already tied the NFL record. And yes, at 25, he still has plenty of years to make it happen. I just don't see it. The Jets can talk all they want about how Sanchez is progressing as a quarterback, about how he has more touchdowns (14) than interceptions (nine) in his third season. Great. What about the 56.7 percent completion percentage? What about the 36.4 total quarterback rating, which ranks 28th in the NFL below the likes of Colt McCoy and Rex Grossman? Sunday night was supposed to be Sanchez's time to shine against the league's worst pass defense and outplay arguably the best signal-caller of all time. All he did, though, was throw two picks (yes, one was tipped) and take five sacks. In Sanchez's defense, he had no help. His coach and his offensive line failed him. But at some point, it would be nice to see him put the team on his back and take over a game against a quality opponent. Maybe Sanchez someday becomes one and lives up to all the hype that comes with being drafted fifth overall. Maybe someday he becomes more than just a glorified game manager, riding the coattails of a prolific defense and special-teams unit. For now, though, he's nothing more than the third-most overrated player in the NFL, according to a Sporting News poll of 111 of his peers. The hope is that drives him. It should. But will it? Will Mark Sanchez ever become the second coming of Broadway Joe? I just don't see it.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.