NFL Playoffs – It All Begins

I keep reading all over the internet about how Mark Sanchez was masterful, brilliant, and so on today. He was good, but I’m just not buying all the accolades. What he was was a young quarterback who was masterfully protected by his offensive coordinator. Just look at the stats – he threw only 15 passes. He completed 12 of those 15 passes, but it’s not that hard for a QB to have the time to be that accurate when a team establishes the run as effectively as the Jets did, and runs so relentlessly. The Bengals couldn’t consistently pressure Sanchez without being punished by Shonn Greene. The star here was Brian Scottenheimer, not Mark Sanchez. It’s typical of the Jets that the coordinator had one of his best days in the job in what is quite likely his second last game with the team.

The one area in which Sanchez was brilliant today was in smacking down his college coach. Last year Pete Carroll famously said that Sanchez was making a horrific decision by leaving college early. It was a long way from classy. Today Sanchez used his post-game press conference to take a jab at Carroll, saying he disagreed with his decision to go pro. He was laughing through the whole thing, and it was brilliant.

I have to admit that I’m feeling a little smug today. I have been down on Donovan McNabb all year both here and anywhere else that someone will listen to me. At times I have been nervous about my position, but I have stuck by it. Today my determination was rewarded – McNabb was terrible. His accuracy was lousy, his only touchdown came late in the game when it was all over, and he never managed to capture any momentum or anything positive. I was far from convinced that the Eagles did the right thing by keeping him around, and I am far from convinced that they should keep him around in the future. He’s no longer the kind of guy that can take this team to where they want to go.

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