On Saturday August 17, the Jets had one of their biggest preseason games in years. With the ankle injury to Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez was able to get the bulk of the snaps. In vintage Sanchez fashion, there were times when he looked brilliant, and there were times when he felt inept. Mark Sanchez is the classic case of average. Mark Sanchez completed (13-23) passes for 169 yards. He also added one touchdown and an interception.
The first drive against the Jacksonville Jaguars was a thing of beauty. The running game was on point, and Sanchez was hitting his receivers in stride. They capped off the drive with 23 yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland.
During the second drive, the Jets marched down the field before stalling in the red zone. They had to settle for a field goal by Billy Cundiff.
Those two drives were almost picture perfect, then the wheels fell off for a little bit. The Jets drove down the field again, but this time Mark Sanchez couldn’t find his target. Instead he found Marcus Trufant for an interception in the end zone.
At the end of the half, the Jets squandered another scoring opportunity after recovering a muff punt. With the ball at the three yard line, Sanchez missed an open receiver in the back of the end zone. It was a sure touchdown, instead he tried to scoot into the end zone himself before getting stopped. Eventually time ran out on a third down pass. However, the Jets may have been playing for a touchdown to simulate a late game situation.
It doesn’t matter how well you play part time. It’s the missed opportunities that the coaches and fans remember the most. It’s the missed opportunities that cause the Jets to lose winnable games.
The Jets scored 17 points in the third quarter while Sanchez was playing against backups. While Sanchez played well overall, he did not do enough to snatch the job away from Geno Smith.
AFC East Notes:
Bilal Powell rushed 7 times for 68 yards.
Kahlil Bell scored two touchdowns for New York in the third quarter.
The Jets offensive line looks like they can have some dominating games this season. They averaged 5.8 yards per carry and ran for 176 yards.
4th string quarterback Matt Simms completed all five of his passes for 73 yards.
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