Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

12 Nov 2012

MMQB: Tie Triviality

Some NFL players still don't know that a game can end in a tie. PK also interviews Andrea Kremer, reviews Coaching Confidential: Inside the Fraternity of NFL Coaches, and goes over the rest of Week 10's results.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 12 Nov 2012

22 comments, Last at 13 Nov 2012, 6:43pm by jackiel


by zlionsfan :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 12:15pm

Just a crazy thought here ... maybe an explanation for Sanchez's performance is that he's simply not a good NFL quarterback.

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 12:30pm

He's not an elite quarterback, and he's basically being asked to do it all himself. Outside of Kerley's quickness, and being able to get to 2nd or 3rd and short if they had the right personell in and the Seahawks defense didn't get lined up quickly enough, they didn't have anything. The Jets are clearly a team that's ment to win on a defense that isn't well conditioned enough to play an inordinate amount of defensive snaps without dropping off in performance.

They had an extra week to prepare for a game they absolutely needed to win, and all they were able to achieve was confusing a rookie QB (and his O-line) with a variety of exotic looks with mixed results. If Tebow can catch, he should be a fullback, they can still do all the wildcat read option stuff, give sanchez another outlet, and guy who's probably one of the better runners on the team is on the field for more snaps.

by RC (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 2:52pm

"and he's basically being asked to do it all himself. "

According to what? The Jets have had a good OLine the last couple of years, they've brought in WRs who were studs on other teams (Holmes, Edwards, etc), they've had good RBs, and an elite defense.

And yet, Sanchez still looks terrible. At some point, they need to realize that hes the common factor here.

by jackiel :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 3:42pm

It's no coincidence that Sanchez's flaws have reared their ugly head in a big way the past 2 years. During that period, o-line quality has deteriorated significantly, the RB position went from being a position of strength to a position of weakness (Greene doesn't get yards unless there's an ocean-sized hole for him to run through and McKnight's been a disappointment), and the receiving corps is terrible (did you see who he was throwing to in the Houston game without Keller and Holmes? Aside from Schillens, Kerley, and Hill, I had never seen some of those guys in my life). And the defense has declined from elite to very good.

Tebow's presence as a sub is disruptive, as King rightly points out. Every offensive play is crucial for a team with such a poor offense and an old defense that needs to stay off the field as much as possible in order to be effective late in games. Yo-yo-ing QBs during drives is disastrous. Too often, Tebow comes in on 2nd-and-10 and gets a few yards on a run. He then yields to Sanchez who comes back in to a 3rd and long situation--precisely the type of situations that you avoid putting shaky QBs in.

Yes, Sanchez is not a special NFL QB. However, poor personnel decision making around him is the bigger issue for the Jets. I'm 100% certain that the offense would perform similarly, if not worse, with Tebow starting.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 6:59pm

It's not just the players but goes directly to their playcalling. An example was Greene averaging over 5 yards a carry against Miami, yet getting only 15 carries while they had Sanchez throw it 54 times. Yeah, they were behind but Sanchez spent most of the day under 50% completions. Just not good use of personnel or realization of what was working.

And let's look at their last 4 games and try to figure out what their thinking is with Greene:
Indy: 32 for 161 yards, 5.03 avg
NE: 16 for 54, 3.38
Mia: 15 for 77, 5.13
Sea: 15 for 58, 3.87

They ride him heavy one week to big success, then it's right back to making sure he's right at 15 carries. There are times when you need to commit to the run game even if your numbers aren't great. I'd argue the Jets certainly need to do that given how Sanchez has played.

The problem is that they got Sanchez with what seemed to be the goal of making him a game manager while they won with their running game and defense. But they've become more pass-heavy each and every year Sanchez has been there. Again, they just don't seem to have a good grasp for their personnel or what will work.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 9:35pm

The opposite argument could easily be made:

Their running game is failing because teams know they don't need to respect the passing game.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 3:25pm

As much as I'm hesitant to admit it, I think they need to at least try Tebow. I don't know if he's better or worse than Sanchez, but the Jets at least need to find out. The season is already lost.

by Theo :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 4:16pm

I must admit that I haven't seen much of the Jets this season, but I maintain the opinion that Tebow should have about 2 drives a game.

by jackiel :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 4:51pm

Given that the Jets are committed to having Tebow appear in every game, I agree with this.

by Dean :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 5:11pm

Exactly what has he ever done to have earned the chance?

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 7:09pm

Beyond turning Denver's season around last year? I'm not a Tebow fan, but I still find it comical how so many want to just forget that a team actually had success with him.

The Jets are going nowhere with Sanchez and the argument is going to center on whether Tebow deserves getting a shot? What about what has Sanchez done to deserve continuing to be the starter? Given they appear to be under-utilizing Greene, Tebow would at least push them towards realizing their run game is more productive than Sanchez much of the time.

by tuluse :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 7:18pm

Green: 3.7 ypc
Sanchez: 6.3 ypa

Both options are bad.

by Dean :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 4:46pm

Tebow turned Denvers season around? Or did Denver's season turn around in spite of Tebow?

Sanchez is terrible - there's no disputing that. But there is no reason to believe Tebow would be anything but even worse. The Jets coaches see him in practice every day. If he were the better option, especially given the ineptitude of the starter, he'd already been in there.

Sanchez may be (read: is) terrible, but if he's the least-bad option you have, then you play him and start making plans for the offseason.

by jackiel :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 6:43pm

Interesting question. If Flacco and Sanchez switched uniforms, would anyone notice the difference?

by Theo :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 8:05pm

Watch Sanchez from the sidelines, having a number 0-19.

by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 8:11pm

Sanchez is a failed NFL starter. He is probably good enough to be a backup (except for the Bears. Jason Campbell is better in a rainstorm than Sanchez is in a 7 on 7 drill.) However, Tim Tebow is also a failed NFL starter.

Who is the 3rd QB again?

by Dennis :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 9:05pm

Greg McElroy.

The way they are using Tebow is just absurd. The best stiuations for him are short yardage/goal line and they haven't used him at all there. They finally brought him in for a third and goal on the 2 and got called for a false start. Bringing him in for one play at a time is just dumb - it disrupts whatever rhythm Sanchez might have found (which usually isn't much, I know).

The Jets don't have a good running game. Their defense is good but not great anymore. Sanchez could be a good QB, but he's never going to be one that can carry a team. And he's certainly not playing like a good QB right now.

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 9:18pm

Bringing him in for one play at a time is just dumb - it disrupts whatever rhythm Sanchez might have found (which usually isn't much, I know).

This is my problem with "Wildcat" plays in general, though it's particularly egregious with Tebow.

by Dean :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 4:49pm

So let's play Nick Folk at QB. He might be worse than Sanchez, but he's probably better than Tebow.

by steveNC (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 12:27pm

Trivialitie, perhaps?

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 3:23pm

A typical PK column with a few good bits amidst the dreck, which is why I continue to read MMQB. The story about Al Davis from Shanahan was a hoot. I also appreciated the reposting of the Times piece on trying to assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy. And he even comes up with an original gem at the end with ‘Maybe Matt Cassel says, “My last prime time game as a Chief, and if I'm going to get any team out there interested in me for 2013, I'd better look better than Kyle Boller.” ’

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 11/12/2012 - 4:42pm

That Shanahan anecdote is superb.