Home / With Geno on the sidelines, Sanchez throws TD, INT in Jets win over Jags

With Geno on the sidelines, Sanchez throws TD, INT in Jets win over Jags

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Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News

Mark Sanchez throws an interception into the arms of Marcus Trufant.

The fans could sense it coming.

They had sarcastically cheered Mark Sanchez for dirting a first-down ball in the red zone, making the smart choice instead of doing what he so often does: forcing a bad throw in a key area resulting in an interception. But it took only two more plays for Sanchez to revert to his old self and throw a pick in the end zone.

It was classic Sanchez playing in Saturday night’s 37-13 preseason win over the Jaguars: luring Gang Green Nation into believing after he had led two-and-a-half strong drives where he looked sharp and in control. Then, he started making the type of errors that caused the Jets to draft Geno Smith in the first place.

Geno Smith, who suffered an ankle injury in the previous preseason game, can only watch from the sidelines.

Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Geno Smith, who suffered an ankle injury in the previous preseason game, can only watch from the sidelines.

Though Sanchez made some costly mistakes in the game, his competitor didn’t have the opportunity to best him. Smith stood on the sidelines, not in uniform, watching as an inactive from an ankle injury that he suffered during the team’s game in Detroit. The Jets waited until Saturday to announce that Smith wouldn’t be able to play after the rookie had practiced from Sunday to Wednesday, even though he was moving gingerly early in the week.

The question for Rex Ryan (and the rest of the group making the “collective decision”): Where does the QB competition stand with Smith injured and Sanchez putting in an up-and-down performance? Having it last at least through the third game seems increasingly likely without either QB separating himself.

Sanchez started out strong as ever on Saturday night. He began the game with a six-play, 59-yard drive in which he completed all three of his pass attempts, including a 23-yard pass to Jeff Cumberland.

Jets running back Kahlil Bell reaches for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News

Jets running back Kahlil Bell reaches for a touchdown in the third quarter.

His second drive was aided by a 28-yard gain by Bilal Powell, and resulted in a field goal. Sanchez kept the momentum going in his third series, bringing the ball all the way down to the Jacksonville 5-yard line. It was then that he intentionally threw the ball in the ground, and two plays later, from the 3-yard line, was picked off by Marcus Trufant.

Near the end of the half after a muffed punt by Jacksonville, Sanchez was at the Jaguars’ 3-yard line but could not convert. Not only was he unable to score a touchdown, but on third-and-goal from the 6-yard line with six seconds left in the half, Sanchez took so much time that the Jets could not attempt a field goal, drawing boos from the crowd.

Surprisingly, the veteran QB played the entire third quarter with the second-team offense, an unorthodox move. He made some nice passes, including a couple of balls to Braylon Edwards, and RB Kahlil Bell ran in two touchdowns.

The QB was 8-14 for 82 yards with a TD and INT when playing with the first team, and posted total numbers of 13-23 for 169 yards with a TD and INT. Heading into the game, Sanchez possibly had an opportunity to take the starting job if he put in a slam-dunk performance, but instead put in his typically inconsistent outing.  


Daily News – Sports

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