As I was driving today, I heard a comment made by a local sports radio host that I took exception to, so much so that I almost called in to tell him that he was wrong. But I actually do have better things to do than to wait on hold for an hour and a half so I figured I’d put it in writing instead.
Basically the host tried to make the argument that Mark Sanchez has been a better QB for the Jets than Brett Favre was because the Jets have made the playoffs the past two seasons. As you may remember, the Jets finished 9-7 in 2008 with Favre at the helm and did not make the playoffs.
First, a disclaimer: I do not like Brett Favre. While I can respect the numbers that Favre has put up in his very lengthy NFL career, I have grown very tired of him not making up his mind on his retirement as most sports fans surely have. I am also quite proud that his consecutive starts streak came to an end because of my favorite team, the Buffalo Bills, and one Arthur Moats. So now you know that I don’t make this argument out of my love for Brett Favre.
So, as I said, I completely disagree with the notion that Mark Sanchez has done a better job as the Jets QB than Favre did in his short tenure with the team. Sanchez certainly deserves some of the credit for his record as the starter and the success the Jets have had since he was drafted. I do think that he is near, or even at, the bottom of the list for giving credit where it is due.
In Favre’s lone season with the Jets, he bested Sanchez is almost every single statistical category that counts for a QB. Favre had more completions, yards, and touchdowns as a Jet as well as a higher completion percentage and QB rating than Sanchez has had in his 2 NFL seasons. The only category Favre didn’t finish ahead of Sanchez in was interceptions which can most likely be attributed to the fact he played a quarter of the season with a torn biceps tendon. Put 2008 Favre on the 2009 Jets with those stats (and don’t forget he put up MVP numbers in 2009 with the Vikings) and I think you could make a serious argument that the Jets would have won the Super Bowl.
You also have to consider things outside of the control of the two quarterbacks while they were/have been on the Jets. Brett Favre’s head coach was Eric Mangini who has a career record that is 15 games under .500 and was only in the league for 10 years before being named a head coach. He also never seemed to be the right fit for the Jets as his tight-lipped Belichick style did not go over well with his players, the fans, or the media. Sanchez’s has played under Rex Ryan for the last two seasons. Now, I don’t think Ryan is as good of a coach as most people give him credit for, but I certainly think he is more experienced, a better fit for the Jets, and ultimately a better coach (considering he is still employed by the team that hired him following the 2008 season).
The Jets have also been a better overall team with much better players since Favre left New York. Favre’s receiving corps were a shell out what Sanchez has had to throw to the last two years. The only Pro Bowlers Favre threw the ball to were over-the-hill players Laveranues Coles and Bubba Franks – both of whom hadn’t make a Pro Bowl since 2003. Sanchez has thrown balls to Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes who are both in their prime. Not to mention the fact that Sanchez has played with two top 3 defenses backing him up and Favre’s was a rather mediocre 16.
Let’s also not forget the fact that Favre was 9-7 in 2008 as was Sanchez in 2009. But because the AFC had a down year, that was good enough to get into the playoffs. So stating that Sanchez has done a better job as QB of the Jets, to me, is just laughable.