Over and Out: ‘The Sanchize Era’ comes to a close

Steve GelbsSteve Gelbs, SNY:

It was a shakeup, if not quite a surprise. The Jets finally pulled the inevitable trigger yesterday, cutting bait with Mark Sanchez. Moments later, they announced the signing of Michael Vick.

It was the right move by John Idzik & Co., a maneuver that — at worst — provides veteran stability behind Geno Smith and — at best — brings a level of excitement to Met Life Stadium that few other players are capable of. It also means that “The Sanchize Era” is now officially over.

NFL Draft Jets FootballWhile that’s a statement that probably won’t get too many Jets fans misty-eyed, maybe it’s one that should. At the very least, it’s a sentence that should evoke the question: “What could have been?” Because of the way Sanchez’s short tenure ended, it’s easy to overlook how it began. Many fans and media members do just that. They shouldn’t.

The first two seasons of Sanchez were unquestionably two of the best years in New York Jets history. Let’s face it, as an organization, Gang Green is known much more for its tribulations than it is for its triumphs. Prior to the arrival of #6, the Jets only had two AFC Title Game appearances to their name. Now they have four.

You can try to write-off Sanchez’s contributions to those runs all you want: “It was all about the defense!” “The running game got it done!” “He was just along for the ride!”

You’re delusional.

Don’t get me wrong, the defense was tremendous and so was the running game… So was Sanchez.

In six playoff games (all on the road) Sanchez went 4-2. He threw nine touchdowns and just three interceptions. He completed over 60 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 94.3. Sanchez went into Indianapolis and Foxboro and beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on back-to-back playoff weekends. In arguably the two biggest games of his tenure — the 2011 divisional round in New England & the 2011 AFC championship game in Pittsburgh — Sanchez rose to the occasion… and then some.

His combined line: 36-for-58 (62 percent), 427 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT. His QB rating in each game respectively: 127.3 and 102.2. And if we’re being totally honest, Sanchez probably would have gotten the Jets to the Super Bowl if Rex Ryan’s vaunted defense could’ve gotten one more stop in Pittsburgh.

I’m not delusional either.

I know what happened after that. Sanchez can’t be fully exonerated for the downturn that took place. He also shouldn’t take the brunt of the blame.
Joe Montana would have had trouble winning with the “weapons” the Jets provided. At one point two seasons ago, Clyde Gates was one of Sanchez’s starting wide receivers. This is the same Clyde Gates who was cut before the season by Miami.

That Dolphins team was as anemic on the outside as any squad you’ll ever see. Their wide receivers combined for three total touchdowns in 2012. Clyde Gates couldn’t crack that roster, but he was starting for Sanchez and the Jets. And let’s not even get started with the whole Tim Tebow and Tony Sparano extravaganza.

At the end of the day, the Sanchez/Jets marriage had run its course. It was better for both sides to just call it a day and move on. Still, it’s kind of sad, isn’t it? So much venom, directed at a guy that provided some great moments. A guy that handled himself with class from start to finish. A guy that was never given a true chance to live up to all the promise. Oh, what could have been…


Steve Gelbs is an anchor and sports reporter at SNY. You can follow him on Twitter here.




259 comments
Sean Rosales
Sean Rosales

Watch.... He will comeback and throw a touchdown to Desean Jackson...... Oh, (slaps forehead) we let 2 great players go

Angelo Corradino
Angelo Corradino

One of the classiest guys in the NFL not like the classless guy we call our GM who waited for the last minute to cut Mark and limit his choice of teams to sign with. Good luck Mark and thanks for your efforts over the last four years especially when you had a team behind you and took us to two championship games.

David D'Amore
David D'Amore

Kevin; meaning the last three seasons after the two championship runs...

Kevin R. Martin
Kevin R. Martin

"B Players" don't make it to 2 straight AFC championship games...

Colin Ginty
Colin Ginty

Too bad the Jets didn't help his development. Never know what might have been. Good luck Mark

Timmy Delgado
Timmy Delgado

Richard Woisin, the letter is addressed to the fans and he "thanks you" for supporting him

John Kaniuk
John Kaniuk

Good luck. Mark be careful of those women in Philly, they are BRUTAL as well as their fans.

Cliff Nier
Cliff Nier

The jerk writes one letter and suddenly he's Terry Bradshaw....lol. I bet his publicist wrote it anyhow and writing a letter doesn't take away his partying and skirt chasing that led to his downfall as much as his inability to think under pressure and learn the game of football. Goodbye, good luck but mostly thank god they finally came to their senses and released you!

William Slapp
William Slapp

hes to good for the low life jets upper management

David D'Amore
David D'Amore

Mark did his best with what the Jets organization gave him to work with... You can only do so much with a team of B players, he is a class act to the end... Happy landings Mark.

John Varuolo
John Varuolo

I'm not a Jets fan, but that was classy. Good Luck Mark!

John Whelan
John Whelan

Wish him the best, classy way to handle leaving.

Donna Dellacroce Scherer
Donna Dellacroce Scherer

Classy guy and you will be missed. The Jets really didn't treat you right, hope you find a new team that will!

Joe Rosalia
Joe Rosalia

He had problems but not necessarily of his doing. He deserved better.

Jersey Joe
Jersey Joe

When you can only throw 10 yards, what do you expect.

Chris Kunkel
Chris Kunkel

He is much better than the dog killer that they signed.

Terrell Davis
Terrell Davis

Classy exit Mark. Thanks for your effort in Green and White and much success in your future endeavors.

Sean Tighe
Sean Tighe

Well ya can't take away the fact that the kid has class..... Far more than the whole jet franchise ..

Artie Sterling
Artie Sterling

Hope he goes to a team that gives him a decent offense. .. Good luck.

Mike Pallotta
Mike Pallotta

I`d rather lose with Sanchez then win with Vick.

Classier than the club.

Rob Spmg
Rob Spmg

Mark will screw us the way bress screwed the chargers he will succeed with better weapons

Rob Spmg
Rob Spmg

Classy man Sanchez wish you the best hope you get a chance to start again good luck to you once a jet always a jet

Benjamin Tonkinson
Benjamin Tonkinson

Good luck Mark, I hope you land on a good team and win the Super Bowl.

Brian Fuchs
Brian Fuchs

I was a Sanchez supporter to the end. It truly is a shame how the organization treated him. Glad to see everyone supporting him on his way out. Best of luck to him.

Joe Pinzone
Joe Pinzone

Hmmm "it's time to move on" did u have any other choice? Nope, bye bye!!

Chris Delavan
Chris Delavan

nothing but a class act. Who really got screwed around

Howard Gold
Howard Gold

Don't forget your girly hair clip Marky Poo