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Interesting Developments for Sanchez, Offense

Posted by Randy Lange on September 27, 2011 – 3:54 pm

We all have our issues with the Jets’ Sunday stumble in the Black Hole — the run defense, Mark Sanchez’s first-quarter interception, the penalties, the protection …

But let’s put those aside to talk about a perhaps an interesting development for the Jets and that is the passing game. Could it be that the Jets’ offense is evolving from Ground and Pound into Air Rex?

Rex Ryan hinted at that during his remarks Monday at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. In fact, the head coach said something that sounded as if it came out of the mouth of Don Coryell.

“I think as long as you’re able to move the ball effectively, you don’t have to run it or you don’t have to throw it,” he said. “You’d like to be in a situation where, I looked at Baltimore yesterday, they were throwing it all over the place. I think they had 403 yards at halftime — that’s at halftime, by the way. This week, are you going to run it against Haloti Ngata over and over and against Ray Lewis? We’ll probably have to throw it more than we want.”

Now this could all be smoke and mirrors for the Ravens’ benefit. But the numbers, influenced to be sure by the game situations against Dallas and Oakland, are very un-Rex-like.

One measure of that is the Jets’ percentage of pass plays in this young season. Sanchez has dropped back 120 times while the Green & White have run the ball only 73 times. That’s a 62.2 percent passing offense. It’s the most pass-heavy three-game stretch in Ryan’s three-season tenure as coach.

In fact, it goes back even further for Ryan. He hasn’t been affiliated with a team that has thrown that much since he was the defensive coordinator of the 2007 Ravens, who threw the ball 65.6 percent of the time from Weeks 9-11 that year.

Now this approach wouldn’t work well if the quarterback wasn’t up to it. But Sanchez, except for a 16-minute span at Oakland when he suffered four sacks and a busted beak, threw well vs. the Raiders in compiling 369 yards, his most as a pro and the most by a Jets QB since Vinny Testaverde went for 373 in the 2003 home opener against Miami.

His 63.1 percent accuracy is the third-most accurate three-game in-season stretch of his career. And his 90.9 passer rating is the seventh-highest in a three-game span. Or, if you’d like to factor out the playoffs when Sanchez has been at his most accurate, it’s the third-highest three-game regular-season rating of his career.

Let’s go yards. In the first half vs. Oakland, Sanchez threw for 173 yards on 10-for-17 passing. A good chunk came on the 74-yard screen-pass-and-run to LaDainian Tomlinson, but every one of those 74 yards counts. And the 173 net yards is the most by a Jets QB in a first half since the 2006 season, when Chad Pennington cleared that figure three times. The second time was when Chad erupted for 241 yards at Green Bay against Brett Favre before he was a Jet. Two games later Pennington went for 239 in the big win at the Metrodome.

Sanchez has cleared 200 second-half net passing yards before, most recently in the opener against the Cowboys. And his 196 gross yards (including sacks) in the second half made a nice bookend with his first half.

Similarly, Sanchez’s 131 first-quarter yards at Oaktown was the Jets’ most net passing yards in an opening period since Pennington had 151 in the first 15 minutes of that ’06 win over the Packers.

Sure, it’d be great if all the wideouts can get a good piece of the action every game. It’s be even better if Sanchez can go for 369 in a victory. Best of all would be any yardage, a victory and an untouched Sanchez. But as long as he gets protection, he has shown he’s up to flinging it all around the park. If he can keep doing that, it will give the running game time to get its feet underneath it. It will also help the running game do that by making defenses balance themselves up a little more than they have early on.

And last, here’s a note on one of the Jets’ backs who could benefit from this passing game. No, not more trivia on Tomlinson, whose 116 receiving yards and 154 total yards we documented like crazy on Sunday. This note’s for Shonn Greene.

Greene had his best game of the season vs. the Raiders. The rushing numbers (15 carries, 59 yards) don’t show it, but when Greene was running off tackle, away from the big bad Silver & Black front, he was running with authority, as 10 first-half carries for 53 yards would better indicate.

And he had a rare receiving game. Seven times Sanchez threw the ball his way. Seven times he caught the ball. The last time a Jets back went at least 7-for-7, Leon Washington went 8-for-8 at San Francisco in 2008. The last time Greene had at least 47 receiving yards in a game was, well, never. That was his career high for receiving yards.

Added to the rushing total, Greene had a 100-yard game — 106 to be exact. Combined with LT’s 154 yards, that’s some nice production out of the Jets’ 1-2 punch.

There are no guarantees this offense will continue to evolve and grow. But why not? It will be something interesting to watch when the Jets run into their next brawny defensive opponent on Sunday night. As Rex said, the Ravens followed by the Patriots is a stretch that’s “going to challenge us as coaches, challenge us as players. And I believe this team will be up to that challenge.”


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Posted in Randy Lange | 47 Comments »


47 Responses to “Interesting Developments for Sanchez, Offense”

  1. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Randy, I respect the work you put into this column, you make a sputtering offense sound a lot better than it’s been so far. And you make a few good pts about some bright spots that are going largely unnoticed. But before things get too out of hand, I have to speak up about this completion percentage spin. Given how Sanchez dares not throw over 10 yds, can’t work two great deep threats into the game, and seems to look for 3-yd dump passes within half a second — partly, I admit, because of the rush that keeps coming at him — I’m surprised his completion percentage isn’t 90.

  2. By Howie D on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    No one has to beat me over the head to convince me that we have great offensive weapons. MS is still young and blunders sometimes, but he knows how to win the big ones, a rare trait that even great mechanical QB’S don’t posssess. He just needs proper guidance with some of the fundamentals and he’ll deliver the goods. The solution, as Prez Clinton similarly declared years ago is…”It’s Shotty Stupid!”

  3. By IRA on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Oh Randy those 06 games you mentioned with Chad at GB and Minny were classics. On to this year you could just see by the makeup of the roster this was going to be more of a passing team than the past 2 years. the days of the Ground and Pound for the Jets are over. One thing though i haven’t seen or heard anybody say while the Jets have not run the ball that great they have taken on the Pats way of throwing to their RB’s and get say 5 yds. Basically its a run play and thats where they are going to make up for the lack of the ground and pound attack.

  4. By Stacy on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    In response to Jet Fan since “64 Tom comment: Doesn’t sound like you have much confidence in our team. If you want a Tom Brady, pack up and head north. Be a true Jet fan and believe in your team and believe in Sanchez.

  5. By GaryC on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    that is a lot of confidence in your quarterback when you say we are going to throw it more than we like,nice going rex,must make sanchez feel real good.this is the guy you moved up in the draft to select.

  6. By Christopher on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Not sure why it took until week 3 to get Greene to the outside, but that seems like it has always been a successful play for the Jets. We get much better blocking when pulling to one side then straight ahead.

    Tom, could you imagine what his completion percentage would be if the receivers actually caught the ball instead of dropping it. With that said, Sanchez’s accuaracy hasn’t been to great either. A lot of passes could have been completed if he was just a little more accurate with the ball.

    Randy, do have Sanchez’s completion percentage for passes over 10 yards, and how many of those incompletions were drops?

  7. By Randy Lange on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Christopher, unfortunately, the lengths of incompletions for Jets passers is not something that I chart.

  8. By Christopher on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Gary, I don’t think Rex’s comments were a dig on Sanchez. Seemed more of a compliment to Baltimore’s front 7 (and lack of faith in our O-line).

    Previously, we would line it up showing run, everyone knew we would run, and yet the runs were successful, because our O-line got the job done up front. This year I don’t think Rex has that confidence in our O-line, hense the comment we need to throw the ball more than we like. I’m sure Rex would probably prefer a 50/50 split run to pass, or 55/45 split, but right now we are passing 38/62. when any team gets too one sided it get easier for defenses to game plan.

  9. By Another Tom on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    MS is a capable NFL passer, especially when He finds a rythym. This is a pass happy copy cat league..sometimes resembling Arena football..So We better evolve…back to the drawing board for BS.

  10. By Christopher on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    I also have this strange feeling that we are still looking way too far ahead for New England, like we are holding back certain stuff so NE doesn’t see it on film. Just my opinion, but if true, it may be costing us now.

  11. By ravens!! on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    get ready for a good ol’ fashion alley fight!! Revis is the best player on ya’ll defense. he can only shut down one person. the jets secondary is weak. with the emergence of torrey smith, along with Evans and boldin, the ravens can create a nightmare match up for that secondary. This is not the same team that beat yall last year in week 1. the o line is far better, the tight ends are ypung and posess wide reciver speed, and the additions of evans and torrey smith to take the top of defenses and not to mention ray rice. this offense can explode at any moment. look at week 1 and week 3 of this season. the jets can blitz all they want, all that will do is leave these non cover corners(excluding revis) vulnerable.

  12. By ravens!! on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    the jets player dont have confidence in sanchez to be able to throw the ball like brady, or manning, even flacco. he doesnt have the arm strength and he looks timid in the pocket. and this sunday is definitely not the time to try. trusting him to beat the ravens defense is asking a lot. it will be a good game though…in the beginning until the ravens turn up the heat and take over

  13. By SOCALJETFAN on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    WELL SAID STACY, LET’S GO JETS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. By BLINKA posts, no one heeds on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    I’m still bitter about our last two drafts. Just thought I’d share.

    Eh, who cares what I think, no one sells my jersy,
    #54

  15. By the real t.o. on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    if MS had as much time as brady does to primp his pretty little hair, MS completion percentage would be astronomical. IT ALL BEGINS AND ENDS WITH THE OFFENSIVE LINE!!! IF U THROW IT TOO MUCH, THE BOX IS EMPTY CUZ THE D IS IN COVERAGE. IF YOU RUN IT TOO MUCH, THEY CROWD THE BOX. SO IT ALL BEGINS AND ENDS WITH THE O LINE AND SORRY TO SAY BUT WAYNE HUNTERS PERFORMANCE IN THE PLAYOFFS IS LOOKIN LIKE THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THE HEAT IS COMIN T SANCHEZ BEFORE HE CAN BLINK. I DONT WANNA SEE HIM ON THE IR BY WEEK 7 BUT AT THIS RATE HES GONNA BE HURTIN BAD! IF THE O LINE IS FIXED, ALL ELSE WILL BE FIXED. AND SORRY BUT THAT MCFADDEN RUN MADE BART SCOTT LOOK LIKE AN OLD MAN. HE HAD A FREE SHOT TO TAKE HIS LIGHTS OUT AND HE FROZE

  16. By Steve on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    I find it interesting that SG had his most productive day and biggest gains when he ran off tackle… I was looking for this to happen more during the first two games, but it seems BS was content running it between the tackles. I hope to see more of this from LT, SG and JM, who all have the speed to turn the corner and make good gains. Also, each game is different, so sometimes you have to pass to set up the run, and others use the run to set up the pass. Don’t worry about MS, he will be ok provided the OL protects him…

  17. By Tom Spicer on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Chris, I cant answer your question but Mark did have over 16 pass plays that went over 10 yards vs the Raiders

  18. By Hessesheros on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Coach Ryan and Mikey T If you want to jumpstart the offense go sign Steve Slaton!!! you put him with LT,and Greene Then YOU WILL HAVE A TOP NOTCH RUNNINGBACK GROUP !!! second to none in the division an maybe the whole NFL!!!

  19. By Tom Spicer on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    I just watched the game again on NFL replay & 4 things I say were 1 on the 4th & 2 that we did not convert the slant that Mark threw hit Plax right in the chest he has to catch that ball 2 On the play were Mark got his nose broke that should have been a 15 yard penalty on the Raiders & nothing was called 3 Kerley had a great return but also had a blunder where he did not catch the ball in the air & let it bounce we probably lost 20 to 30 yards cause of it. 4 McKnight had a 50 yard kick return we need to keep him back there we can not have Cromartie get hurt returning kicks he is fargile as it is.

  20. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Stacy, I don’t want THE Tom Brady, I want a QB who can play in the same class as Tom Brady and why not? Only teams with QBs like that win the SB, as I’ve said since long before we drafted Sanchez. If unconditional happy talk was the prerequisite to being a Jet fan, we’d all still be saying we shoulda kept Chad and Mangini. Sorry but considering what the Jets have often put me through since late ’63 (I haven’t missed a game since), I reserve the right to comment on an O and a QB that can’t play vertically and take advantage of the weapons we have. And along those lines, yeah, Christopher, MS’s accuracy remains FAR from great! As for you, ravens!!, may the best team win…and by the way, how come somebody in Baltimore says “y’all” so much?

  21. By ddh on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    nothing is gonna matter if penalties like the two #31 had continues, how can someone be so hot one week and next ice cold ? it must be drilled continuously into him to keep his hands off the reciever after five yds, the refs zero in on him all the time, throwing flags seemingly without justification even. He must be made to understand he has a target on his back and its the refs that are aiming for it.

  22. By Charliejet on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    seems like Green is not quick enough for up the middle – but give him some running room to the outside quick pitch, power sweep, stretch the field let him build up some momentum he seems to run better. LT may be better for that quick burst up the middle – when rested i.e. used for those certain occasions, In the words of Blinka eh – what do I know !

  23. By Charliejet on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    yea O.K. he still makes some mistakes – but Sanchez is maturing a little at a time he is getting better. Stacy don’t you know by now there will always be complainers.

  24. By andrew bergstrom on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    i have but 1 comment no huddle offence plz

  25. By Karan on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Why is there a ravens fan on this blog? Get off this page, btw, we have plenty of confidence in Sanchez, not so much in the offensive coordinator

  26. By Gabriel on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    were not patriot fans, we dont get bitter. This will be a nice game this sunday. I just hope sanchez airs it out and the D steps up against the ravens

  27. By Eli Rodriguez on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Maybin looking pretty good about NOW!

  28. By Troy on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Its surely not by evolving ,its more like our LIne all of sudden stinks and Greene and LT have no room to run the ball , so when its Constantly 2 & 9 ,you have to throw ,and very very rarely does mark ever throw a pass thats enough for the 1st down ,so it 3rd & 3 ,not running it there either!!!!!!!

  29. By GaryC on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    christopher, I get your point about rex’s comments not being a dig on sanchez, but I believe the raven secondary especially the corners will be where the jets win this game,I would be surprised if jets can run on ravens and it might be in the hands of sanchez.Rex sometimes needs to keep his thoughts to himself.

  30. By Troy on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with tom 64 above ,and Stacy its not being a bad fan being grounded in Reality ,the offense does sputter ..and no I dont have confidence in #6 either , MOST Jets fans dont..and rightly so …There’s having confidence in your team or lack of and then there’s the delusional nothing’s wrong fantasy land that you fall into!!!!! P.S. Dont ever tell a true JET fan to go pack it north to N.E. What’s wrong you..But yeah I would give my left arm to have Brady on our team..

  31. By Ricky Mercier on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    This was an up-beat article, and something Jets fans needed to read to prep for Sunday night’s game. I think it’s obvious that Sanchez is evolving as not only a QB but a leader for the Jets. I mean, he’s already performing better than last season, and we’re only 3 games in.

    I do have to say I’m worried about Greene. I honestly thought he was going to have a some-what explosive season this year, but so far, I’ve been let down every game.

    Our passing game is getting better. And with Plax in the mix, we’re going to be alright. It’s our running game that I’m worried about. Very worried based on what I’ve seen so far.

    Greene has got to kick it up a notch! We only have LT for so long folks.

  32. By russ on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    A quick Offense until you rach the opponents 30 will get better results than a slow time offense that cant run..

  33. By ArtSoCal on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s suppose Rex is 100% right. Let us also suppose that every couch in the NFL also agrees with Rex. More importantly, let us suppose that Sanchez eventually becomes more productive as a result of this new mindset. If this new strategy does not pan out in the next 2 games, bloggers will release such a torrent of ripping criticism, all will seem to be lost. They suffer from Lebron James syndrome. They want instant gratification now.

  34. By kw65Fan on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Like i have said before…and it is your right to complain on these blogs…but if you complain about a certain player and have never played the game before, well your comment would make no sense. But then you do have that right. Greene….how one could say he is not quick enough to hit he hole is crazy. there is a problem on the right side of the line where we are getting no penetration by the linemen…hence no running room. As stated before, plays that need quickness and speed, Greene has been excellent in on running to the left side around tackle with Slauson pulling in taking care of the OLB. He is averaging 8 yds per carry to the outside. Why not more plays…well, you have to ask Schotty….

  35. By kw65Fan on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    The OL is not getting the push off the line on running plays up the middle which provides the holes for the running back to run thru….we all see it along with the poor pass defense…especially on the right side. What happened to Hunter…besides signing a new contract (Fat Cat) is beyond me especially after his stellar performance in the playoffs last year AND Moore…looking slow..injured…who knows. Left side seems job is getting done, but then teams will adjust and put a extra LB there or safety will cheat up. No win situation until the whole line is running like a machine…as in previous years…although missing Woody,…and now Mangold.

  36. By rick on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    WHY CANT WE WORK A FEW PLAYS FOR JOE MCKNIGHT??? THE GUY CERTAINLY LOOKS LIKE A PLAYMAKER:::

  37. By rick on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    ALSO::::TOO MANY TIPPED PASSES::::MUCH TOO MANY::::

  38. By kleckofan on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904106704576582863603744104.html

    Type this address into your browser and read it, don’t be lazy…its an article called “It’s the Offensive Line, Stupid” (Google it if thats easier). It’s very enlightening and should put all the O-Line comments here in perspective. READ IT.

  39. By ArtSoCal on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    My apologies, fans have a right to voice their concerns and vent. I agree with them on the lack of D and OL. Something needs to be done during the off-season, hopefully sooner. Rex can only shift gears for the time being. If the OL can at least “bust-a-gut” trying to protect the QB, give him as much time as possible, hopefully we can succeed.

  40. By TonyR on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    It was a disappointing loss, but Sanchez really showed us what he was made of in this game. He took some punishing hits and really showed us a gritty and determined effort. If Cromartie didn’t have such a poor game the Jets could have won it. Lets go Jets!

  41. By SackExchange99 on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Sanchez is a solid citizen, good guy who seems coachable. Fact is, tho, he’s just not a very good QB. Great leader, terrific locker room guy, but he just looks like a deer in the headlights 50% of the time. Some plays (like the TD to Santonio 2 weeks ago, Sanchez looks great, then he throws a telegraphed momentum killing INT in the endzone last week. He’s inconsistent and unfortunately doesn’t have the overall talent to compensate. For the Jets to win, he needs to stay focused and all Jets coaches need to keep on him.Shotty would i’m sure rather go out for a drink with Sanchez than just coach him. Rex needs to step up.

  42. By Rich in New Mexico on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    I think Mark Sanchez is progressing well, especially in light of the fact that he played very little college ball and is only just beginning his third season. What is hurting him and the rest of the team as well is the regression of the o-line. That is typically the most important unit on a team and ours is thin and broken. What about bringing Woody back in, immediately. That would be a start.
    All the rest of the pieces seem to be in place, as would be made much much more obvious if the O-line would allow the Offense to play a proper game and score more and also keep the Defense sitting and resting up for when needed.
    Rich in New Mexico, fan since 67, grew up 5 miles east of Shea before moving out west here in 78. Go JETS

  43. By Relivin68 on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Randy thanks ofrthe info, if he jets don’t start to stretch the field the opossing D will continue to stuff the box, Mason and Sanchez do not seem to be on the same page, Mason route running is slow and sloppy,. this isnt helping when MS iswaitng for something to develop. Stretching the field is not throwing 10 yards. Any stats for throws of 25 yards or more

  44. By Jimmer on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    Sanchez’s stats may sy he’s doing better. But he’s not. He’s on track to beat his INT total. If you’re behind, trying to win a game, it might be overlooked. These stats are not. He’s chucking and ducking when nothing is on the line.

  45. By Gabriel on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

    Tony, One player doesnt make a team lose, you either win or lose as a team

  46. By manny on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

    sanchez is scared to get hit thats the problem.he cant scramble and its all his fault tyrade him.

  47. By manny on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

    why blame everyone but sanchez.he is the problem cant throw scramble and really cant make one goos decision.lets give the backup hi shot cant be no worse.

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