LANDOVER, Md.-To call Mark Sanchez the Tim Tebow of the East Coast might be a little strong, but you have to admit, the Jets have a way of making victories a lot harder than they should be.
Their 34-19 win over Washington was a perfect example of that. Don’t be fooled by the 34 points, because the last two Jet touchdowns came in the final four minutes after the Jets had the game well in hand. The Jets’ cardiac arrest-inducing wins have led their fans and the media to question their consistency, though Jets coach Rex Ryan appears to have no issues with it.
“Mark, at times, sailed a couple of balls, but when it counted most in the fourth quarter, he found a way to get it done,” said Ryan. “So I was proud of that.”
Ryan has every reason to be pleased with his quarterback’s fourth-quarter poise, especially since seven of Sanchez’s 18 touchdown passes have come in the fourth quarter. He also has a rushing score in the fourth quarter.
“Guys struggle. Every quarterback, with the exception of Peyton and Brady, I think,” Ryan added. “I’ll take it when a guy rolls up his sleeves and says, ‘You know what? We’re going to get it done.’”
When asked if a positive pattern was developing, Sanchez deflected the fourth-quarter praises and instead pointed out his team’s flaws.
“The real pattern is we’re just hurting ourselves with substitution penalties, we’re getting calls in a little late and we need to be sharper and get up to the line of scrimmage faster so we can play faster,” said Sanchez. “We need a better sense of urgency and better tempo. And that starts with the quarterback and I need to get better with that.”
Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes said the team’s focus is playing an entire game, not just the beginning few minutes. “I think [it’s] because we play the game to the end of the game. We never think to win a ball game in the first, second or third quarter,” Holmes said. “Things happen throughout the ball game…Today it came down to the end of the game.”
With the wounded Kansas City Chiefs (5-7) coming to town on Sunday, the Jets (7-5) may not have to worry about that.