Going into the 2013 season, it appeared that Mark Sanchez was on his way out as quarterback of the Jets. The Jets drafted Geno Smith in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and it appeared the 2 players were going to compete for the starting quarterback position.
The choice for Rex Ryan was made much simpler when he had Mark Sanchez play in the 4th quarter of a preseason against the other New York team, the Giants. Sanchez took a tough hit from Giants’ defensive lineman Marvin Austin, and banged up his shoulder. This would be the last play Mark Sanchez would ever be apart of for the New York Jets. He ended up tearing his labrum, requiring season ending surgery, putting him on injured reserve.
There was question after the injury as to why Mark Sanchez was in the game in the 4th quarter of a preseason game. According to the New York Daily News, Rex Ryan said later on about the situation “My opinion was that nobody had done enough to win the job at that time, that’s why Mark was in there.” Clearly Rex Ryan had lost confidence in Mark Sanchez.
We will never know what Mark Sanchez was going to become that year, but the 2013 season was the end of his run in New York. At the end of the season, the Jets released Sanchez, and he has since played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys. He has not had a consistent starting job since, but he did start a few games for the Eagles after an injury to Nick Foles. The Jets have yet to find the answer at quarterback since they released Mark Sanchez. Since he was released, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Bryce Petty have all started games under center.
Mark Sanchez had a strange career for the Jets. Unfortunately, he is remembered for throwing interceptions, the buttfumble, and getting hurt in the 4th quarter of a preseason game. But, his first 2 seasons in New York were special. He may not have flashed the scorecard with impressive stats, but he found a way to get it done in the clutch. You always felt like the team was going to win if the ball was in Mark Sanchez’s hands with under 2 minutes. His career can be interpreted in many ways, but he clearly was one of the most successful Jet quarterbacks in the playoffs. 2 straight AFC Championship games, with 4 wins in the playoffs, the most of any Jet quarterback. He finished his Jet career throwing 68 touchdown passes and 69 interceptions. In his playoff career as a Jet he threw 9 touchdown passes to 3 interceptions.
My opinion on Mark Sanchez’s tenure as a Jet: It is a shame because Jet fans really thought they had their franchise quarterback. He certainly went on a great 2 year run that I will never forget. I felt the team was not as good around him towards the end of his Jet career, leading to his failures. They had a powerhouse defense with playmakers when he was younger. They continued to lose players, and he was not the kind of player to put a team on his shoulders. Here’s how one can sum up Mark Sanchez’s career as a New York Jet: 4 playoff wins in his first 2 seasons with a knack for being clutch, to the buttfumble and a constant turnover machine. Mark Sanchez rose as quarterback of the New York Jets. But later on, Mark Sanchez fell as quarterback of the New York Jets.
All stats via Pro-Football-Reference.