There are plenty of negative things to say about Mark Sanchez as a quarterback, but you can’t discount his optimism.
Just five days after getting shellacked by the New England Patriots, the New York Jets’ quarterback is still confident about his team’s playoff chances, despite a 4-7 record. Perhaps when things have hit rock bottom there’s nowhere to go but up, but unless Sanchez has plans to steal some of Tim Tebow‘s magic, the Jets don’t stand much of a chance.
“We feel great. We love our chances. We’ve got a special group,” Sanchez told David Satriano of the New York Post. “We’ll keep fighting and trying to win some games here. We will do our best. We’re just taking it one game at a time.”
The Jets would likely have to run the table to still make the postseason after such a poor start to the season. Their strength of schedule is on their side though. The Jets have the Cardinals, Jaguars, Titans, Chargers and Bills left on their schedule. All of those teams are 4-7 or worse, but none have faced the same level of negativity from fans and media alike as the Jets.
This could be the Jets’ last chance at a playoff season for a while. Their salary cap situation is so bad entering the 2013 season, that they may be better off tanking their next season for high draft picks than even trying to compete.
If the Jets have any hope, it would come from turning to Tebow, but luckily for Sanchez, he’s got one of the longest leashes in the league, despite his awful performances this season. The Jets very unwisely signed the USC product to a contract extension this offseason that guaranteed his 2012 and 2013 salaries — for basically no reason other than to give him confidence.
Even if it was in the Jets’ best interests competitively to cut the Sanchize, it would make no sense whatsoever fiscally. If Sanchez stays on the team he will cost the team almost $13 million, if he’s cut he’ll cost over $17 million. So even if it means storing Sanchez on the bench, keeping him is the team’s best option.
The Jets may face five teams with losing records to end the season, and they may have confidence from their starting quarterback, but after watching the pathetic Thanksgiving display against the Patriots, this team has no shot in extending their season, even if it meant playing the Kansas City Chiefs five times in a row.