Jets' Sanchez critical of play, ready to rebound
Watching the play unfold on film made Mark Sanchez cringe.
He never saw it while it was actually happening, which was bad enough. But there on the screen was a wide-open Braylon Edwards streaking down the field for what could have been a go-ahead score for the New York Jets in the closing minutes Sunday.
''I mean, Seth Ryan could make that throw,'' Sanchez said Wednesday, referring to coach Rex Ryan's teenage son.
Sanchez simply lost sight of Edwards and instead threw an incompletion to Jerricho Cotchery, punctuating an all-around lousy day for the offense.
''Oh,'' Sanchez said of the missed opportunity, ''it's the worst.''
While there was plenty of blame to go around in the 9-0 loss to Green Bay, the Jets quarterback insisted he was way too inaccurate and should have run with the ball at times instead of throwing it.
''For a quarterback, there were a lot of mistakes that I made,'' he said. ''Another quarterback could watch that game and see exactly what I'm seeing and know why I put so much pressure on myself and why I'm so critical of myself.''
Sanchez's final numbers against the Packers were far from horrible - 16 for 38 for 256 yards and two interceptions, which came on questionable calls. The blown chances, especially on the Edwards play, were what had Sanchez kicking himself.
''If I just hit that and don't hesitate, I'm throwing a touchdown and we're winning the game and we're not even talking about it,'' he said. ''You know what I mean? We're high-fiving and smiling and it's a different story this week. That's how tough I have to be on myself, and that's how tough I am on myself. That's the difference between 6-1 and 5-2. It's this close. That's why I'm like that.''
Ryan wasn't as hard on Sanchez, citing the several drops - eight or nine by his count - that just magnified the quarterback's mediocre performance.
''I think his numbers looked pretty darn good in the second half,'' Ryan said. ''It was just in the first half, I don't think he was as accurate as I would have liked him to have been.''
After a sizzling start, Sanchez has one touchdown and four interceptions in his last two games. He posted quarterback ratings over 106 in three straight games, but hasn't been above 61 in the three games since. Sanchez's 43.3 rating was his lowest this season, and his worst since a 37.1 in a four-interception game at New England nearly a year ago.
''I need to be more accurate and that's been the emphasis this week, get completions,'' he said. ''I passed up a couple of easy completions and left a lot of easy throws out on the field going down the field with some shots that we didn't really need to take. There were a couple of chances where I could've ran, so there are plenty of decisions that I need to make better and I definitely will.''
The Jets are counting on that. And, Sanchez needs his wide receivers to be at their best, too, against the Lions in Detroit.
''It's important to not make one bad game a stretch of bad games,'' Sanchez said. ''Things went bad on Sunday. It's time to make it better and not dwell on it, but learn and improve and move on. That's what I'm planning on doing and I know the team's with me.''
Ryan would also like to see Sanchez use his legs more often, something he did at times last season.
''That kills a defense,'' Ryan said. ''When you have a quarterback that can run for a couple of first downs, that's extra possessions. That's what he has to understand.''
Sanchez has 11 rushes this season, and actually had the longest run of his career against Green Bay when he scrambled for 20 yards on the final play of the game.
''Mark can run well enough,'' Ryan said. ''He doesn't have to be Michael Vick, which is not going to happen, but he can still be effective running.''
The Jets recognize that their quarterback is still developing after taking him fifth overall last year, four spots after the Lions took Matthew Stafford at No. 1. Sanchez said he and Stafford have similar pressure to perform as franchise cornerstones, but acknowledges it might be tougher to play in New York under the hot glare of the media spotlight.
So, would it have been easier if Detroit had taken him No. 1?
''No,'' Sanchez said with a smile. ''I'm happy where I'm at.''
Notes: LB David Harris did not practice after injuring his lower back while lifting weights in the morning. Ryan expects him to be OK for the game. ... After dealing with windy conditions at the New Meadowlands Stadium against the Packers, Ryan said he has talked with owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum about holding an occasional practice there.