Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Nov 2010

ESPN AGS: Packers over Jets

In which we ask: What if Mark Sanchez hasn't really improved this season?

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 02 Nov 2010

20 comments, Last at 09 Nov 2010, 3:47am by Vince Verhei


by KnowsHow2RamIt :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 4:24pm

In this, as in most writing/other coverage of this game that I've seen, the painfully obvious "what's wrong with the Jets" angle is the one taken.

Apparently there was only one team involved in this game. Disappointing.

by B :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 4:28pm

He still leads the league in Poise, right? I'm pretty sure Favre no longer leads the league in smiles.

by hbh_uk :: Wed, 11/03/2010 - 8:08am

Don't forget: Sanchez also leads the league in Dreaminess.

by TJW (not verified) :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 4:40pm

9 TD's/ 4 INT's.
The offense is scoring more points.
The team is winning more games.

In my mind, those are the three best stats from which to evaluate a QB: TD/INT ratio, offensive points scored, and W/L.

Sanchez is not "regressing".

Vince Verhei is just a tool that waited until Sanchez cooled off to go back on attack, because he can't back down off his stance that Sanchez is the next Jamarcus Russel, like he said last season.

by floressalicis (not verified) :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 5:01pm

Yes, because DVOA and ANY/A are such worthless stats. And W/L - because we all know a QB is solely responsible for every W/L, right?

by TJW (not verified) :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 5:51pm

Well, his DVOA and ANY/A are higher as well. By huge margins.


by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 7:27pm

Good god

by Sander :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 10:43pm

Are those really the three best, or are they just coincidentally the ones where Sanchez improved most? Because if you asked me for 3 stats to evaluate a QB, I would cite none of those.

Saying Sanchez has regressed is obviously hyperbole, but Sanchez certainly hasn't been nearly as impressive as the 3 stats you cited would suggest.

It would be interesting to compare him to Matt Stafford and Josh Freeman, as the 3 QBs had nearly identical stats in their rookie years last year. Stafford hasn't played enough to judge properly this year, but Freeman has - and he rates significantly better in almost every measure than Sanchez. If Stafford looks much better than Sanchez too, I think it's safe to say that Sanchez is at least a disappointment.

Also, the article doesn't actually say Sanchez has regressed, only the title does. And as far as I know the title is determined by ESPN, not Outsiders/Vince Verhei.

by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 11:33pm

Thank you, I was just about to point this out. Yes, ESPN came up with the headline. It would be more accurate to say that he has stagnated, not regressed. He's basically the same QB he was last year (except that he has cut way down on fumbles -- zero so far this season).

by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/03/2010 - 12:15pm

"The offense is scoring more points.
The team is winning more games."

The funny thing is, NYJ's points scored and points allowed is virtually identical to last season, and their record would be identical if they weren't bailed out on a horrible throw in Denver.

Frankly, the offense hasn't been very good for several weeks now. They were handed multiple short fields against Minny and only scored 22 points and they only earned 17 points against a Denver team that is falling apart. The poor showing against Green Bay was just the continuation of the trend.

Of course I'm not saying they can't snap out of it. The line is still good and there are plenty of weapons in the skill positions. But the Jets aren't the offense people seem to think they are. If it weren't for a surprisingly easy 2nd half schedule, I'd stil say they are a 9-7 team, but they'll probably manage closer to 11-5.

by Led :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 8:11pm

I can't read the article, but a 24% increase in DVOA suggests a certain amount of improvement.

by Joseph :: Wed, 11/03/2010 - 11:57am

The article's conclusion is that his improvement in DVOA/DYAR/ANY/A is almost completely due to fewer turnovers. One half is completely Sanchez--he hasn't fumbled at all after fumbling 8 times last year. The other half is the opposing defenses dropping INT's. The article states that the defense is getting its hands on ~18% of passes this year, vs. ~19% last year. In other words, by this time last year, opposing D's had ~10 INT's--and this year they've "dropped" about 6, which leaves him with 4 "actual" INT's this year. Of course, 2 of those "actual" INT's were not normal INT's vs. the Packers last Sunday.

by Led :: Wed, 11/03/2010 - 5:34pm

If that's the argument, then it's pretty weak. Not every pass defensed is a possible interception. Many of them this year have been decent throws into tight coverage that were knocked away. He's had some potential interceptions dropped, but so does every QB. The decrease in interceptions has been a little bit luck but, like the decrease in fumbles, it has a lot to do with a focus on ball security. I've watched just about every snap that he's taken over the last two years and his decision making is MUCH better this year. He has thrown far fewer risky passes late and over the middle. He has telegraphed his passes far less frequently. So he's cut down on the number of really stupid interceptions -- the low hanging fruit, if you will. The big problem is that he's still not very accurate. I don't know whether his inaccuracy is physical or mental but it's going to prevent him from being a top shelf QB.

(Part of me suspects that Brian Schottenheimer's offense and/or playcalling is at leat partially to blame. Two pretty good QB's (Farve and Pennington) have underperformed in it compared to the rest of their careers. And two young QBs that were pretty highly touted, Sanchez and Clemens, have performed poorly overall. I have no scientific way to prove this, but it's a hunch.)

by TayloreatsBrady (not verified) :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 8:12pm

He's handsome and has the "it" factor. Who cares about completion percentage?

by Failgoat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 8:39pm

He plays in New York and MSM hacks say he's handsome and has the "it" factor. Who cares about major improvements in adjusted metrics?

by John (not verified) :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 9:50pm

As long as he doesn't start emulating Brady's hairdo...

by mrh :: Wed, 11/03/2010 - 9:19am

As long as he doesn't start emulating Brady's hairdo...

The hairdo is 6-1 and it's a copycat league...

by Bob P (not verified) :: Thu, 11/04/2010 - 12:42pm

As a Jets fan since the AFL days I'm not going to get into a debate about how good/mediocre/bad Sanchez is. But I will say this about the article....to assume that the Jets are going to start losing a lot of fumbles because they have recovered a lot so far is similar to the argument that says if a coin comes up heads ten times in a row it is more likely to come up tails the next time.

by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:47am

No, it's like saying that coin won't come up heads ten times in a row again.

by classic3283 :: Thu, 11/04/2010 - 2:05pm

Sanchez looked bad this past Sunday, but his WR's didn't help him at all. There were some drops, but the WR's weren't running crisp routes either. When Sanchez was under pressure, I didn't sense any urgency from the WR's to get open, and help Sanchez. There was one play towards the end of the game, where Sanchez could have had a nice completion to Braylon Edwards, but Edwards simply didn't run towards the pass, thus incompletion.