Dan’s intriguing look at the QB situation Dan Leberfeld
East Rutherford – The Jets did the right thing by not having Mark Sanchez throw any passes against the Buffalo Bills. His shoulder injury is worse than the team is saying. He was never throwing in this game, let’s be honest.
There were two pretty good signs that he wasn’t going to throw in this game. First off, he was throwing lefty in the walk-through on Friday. Secondly, he was doing a lot of that windmill warm-up on his shoulder, before and at the beginning of the game.
Like we reported the other day, Sanchez has a torn capsule in this throwing shoulder. He’s going to need surgery after the playoffs.
After the game, the media was waiting forever, by this locker, for his post-game address – a really long time. There were no players left in the locker room when he finally came out. He was getting extensive treatment from the trainers and doctors. And this was after not throwing.
But he can play with this injury as he showed against Chicago. Chad Pennington played with a lot worse in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but he can do it.
However, if he does run into any physical issues in the playoffs, what we found out against Buffalo is that Mark Brunell has some game left. He threw two touchdowns against Buffalo. The last time Sanchez threw more than one touchdown in a game was against Houston, on November 21. And Buffalo might not be a great team, but their secondary isn’t bad.
Brunell came in on the second series, and got off to a pretty good start, competing a seven-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery, on the left side, on third-and-seven. There was some confusion on this play because Braylon Edwards and Cotchery were almost in the same spot on the left side. This drive ended in a punt. Brunell’s next two possession after this were three-and-outs.
Then, on the Jets next possession, Brunell led the Jets on an eight-play, 59-yard TD drive.
Early in this drive, Brunell had an impressive play, when a defender got by Matt Slauson, and the quarterback avoided the rusher by stepping up in the pocket, and he hit Cotchery for a gain of 18 over the middle. Three plays later, on third-and-seven, Sanchez hit Cotchery, on the left side, for a gain of seven.
This drive wrapped up with Brunell throwing a beauty, to the left side of the end zone, to Santonio Holmes, for a 17-yard touchdown. The old guy can still spin it.
Early in the third, on the Jets first possession of the half, Brunell threw a Pick Six to S Jairus Byrd, on a short out to McKnight on the right side.
The Jets next possession involved a lot of Brad Smith as an option quarterback and ended with a punt.
Then, on the second play of the following possession, Brunell hit Braylon Edwards on a 52-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline. This was a very favorable matchup for the Jets. Edwards was one-on-one with CB Leodis McKelvin, an underachieving first round pick.
Kellen Clemens came in for the fourth quarter, and the Jets did a lot of running.