Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was shown a copy of the [Issue of GQ where Mark Sanchez posed in a fashion spread] during an interview with ESPN Milwaukee, and he didn’t try to conceal his contempt.
“Look at this,” Rodgers said. “That’s embarrassing. Page 94 of the GQ thing here. That’s terrible.”
This is the picture Rodgers was commenting on:
What's interesting to note, actually, is that Rodgers is just the latest of people to jump on my bandwagon and pile on Sanchez: After I rated Sanchez as the second-worst starter in the NFL and pointed out that while both he and Tebow are equally likely to miss passes, ESPN never ripped on Sanchez because the Jets are good for business and Christian third-stringers are not, it's now become fashionable to take down Sanchez.
On August 20, ESPN asked "Is Mark Sanchez bad for his receivers?", forums are asking "How bad is Mark Sanchez," and a Daily News writer on September 14 said Mark Sanchez was playing at a lower level than last year.
Is he? Or is everyone just jumping on my bandwagon?
Let's look at the evidence:
First, Christopher Harris, the ESPN writer who thought, on August 20, that Sanchez was "bad for his receivers." Turns out Harris likes Sanchez -- On September 11 he wrote:
I've been making a case for Mark Sanchez as at least having the opportunity for a breakout season, though whether he makes good on his promise comes down to improving his accuracy substantially. He'll get a nice first matchup.Now, granted, Harris is a fantasy football writer, which is one step removed, accountability/intelligence-wise from real sports writer, in terms of impact on the world and need to be correct or consistent, but to say that he's been touting Sanchez's prospects goes completely against what Harris wrote just two weeks earlier in his preview:
It would be foolish for me to dismiss the possibility Sanchez could turn a corner this year. It sometimes happens, though historically the odds are somewhat against him....
So yes, while I do think the Jets will throw it enough for Holmes, Burress and Mason to theoretically have good fantasy seasons, and while I rate Holmes as a top-20 fantasy option, I do think these receivers are at least in part held hostage by Sanchez.
So to be clear: Harris, at ESPN, thought in August that Sanchez was going to be bad, but thought in Week 1 that he'd have a good game against the Cowboys -- and Harris (in a post you can't find anymore) once touted Sanchez as an immediate starter.
How about The Daily News' announcement that after two weeks Sanchez was statistically worse than last year -- which is the storyline that sports "writers" have decided to go with: "Sanchez was terrible his rookie year, but he was a rookie. Last year he improved, and we loved him, but this year we no longer like him because he's taking a step back."
(That's how they try to believe they're not taking their leads from a midwestern lawyer who only blogs about sports in between attempting to eat Immortal Twinkies.)
In 2009, Sanchez ranked 29th by quarterback rating (63.0), 29th by passes attempted per game (24.3), 28th in yards per game (162.9), and 29th in completion percentage (53.8).
In 2010, he was 27th in quarterback rating (75.3), 17th in attempts per game (31.7), 25th in yards per game (205.7), and 29th in completion percentage (54.8). It's important to include the actual stats, to see if a change in rankings is because other quarterbacks got better or worse, affecting his ranking -- and in completion percentage he's almost exactly the same, with only a marginal improvement in efficiency, as measured by rating, even though his coaches trusted him to throw the ball nearly 20% more in 2010.
Now, in 2011, two games in, Sanchez is 17th in quarterback rating -- 87.7 -- and 19th in attempts per game (34), 15th in yards per game (258), and 15th in completion percentage at 63.2% -- which disproves the Daily News' "sports" "writer's" claim that Sanchez is worse. Statistically, he's better than he was last season, and his coaches are trusting him more.
Sanchez still ranks at about the middle, or below, for all quarterbacks -- below Matt Cassel, who's 0-2 in two bad losses, and rookie Andy Dalton at the Bengals, to name two, though -- which means he's still bad.
But if Sanchez has improved every single year and statistically is better this year than the last two years, when he made the playoffs, what can explain why sports casters and writers are turning on him?
You're reading it.