It was a fitting end to a hapless season for Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets as their postseason dreams were left to die in the Music City on Monday Night. New York’s offensive futility reached a new low-point as Sanchez tossed four interceptions and fumbled a low snap from center Nick Mangold on the final offensive possession to seal the Jets’ fate. Opposing one of the NFL’s most defenseless teams in the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez put on another clunker of a performance, begging the question are his days as the Jets starting quarterback over?
By all accounts, the answer is a resounding, Yes.
Sanchez gained a vote of confidence from Rex Ryan two weeks ago despite No. 6’s season-long struggles and was afforded one final chance to prove his worth and secure his status as the franchise’s future signal-caller. The Jets entered Week 15 with a chance to make their playoff outlook brighter with a win, but needed help from the AFC’s Wildcard contenders to slip into the postseason picture. With the Jets’ defense playing some of its best football the past few weeks, the same cannot be said for Sanchez who has floundered and wilted under the pressure cooker in New York.
The fourth year gunslinger, while lacking a strong supporting cast, has committed 51 turnovers over his past 30 games and it’s becoming clear that Sanchez is part of the problem, not the solution.
So the million dollar question becomes, where do the Jets go from here?
The knee-jerk reaction would be to conduct a full house cleaning by parting ways with their offensive coordinator, quarterback, quarterback’s coach, head coach and general manager. So while fans will clamor for wholesale changes the key to a Jets’ turnaround might very well be addition by subtraction. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum has failed to bolster Gang Green’s roster, instead cutting veteran leadership in favor of salary cap saving measures.
While Rex Ryan undoubtedly mishandled New York’s quarterback situation this year, he is owner Woody Johnson’s right hand man and it’s likely that he’ll be on-board for the foreseeable future. As for Sanchez, Tony Sparano, Matt Cavanaugh and Tannenbaum, this will likely mark their last campaign in the Big Apple.
As Gang Green inches closer to a pivotal offseason period, it’s almost a certainty that the 2013 team will have a much different look both on the field and in the front office after a second straight season finishing on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.