Premium – A look at Sanchez – Part I Dan Leberfeld

Mark Sanchez didn’t play great, and the Jets passing game was out of sorts, but the field didn’t help, Yes, the playing surface stunk, but the Dolphins seemed to understand it better.

The Jets first possession was three-and-out, but what happened on third down, was not Mark’s fault. He was throwing a timing route to Patrick Turner, and as the receiver was cutting away from the defensive back to where the ball was being thrown, he fell to the ground. He stumbled out of his break, thanks to the turf.

The Jets drove down the field for a touchdown on their second possession. After two nice runs to start the drive, for five and six yards, the Jets went into their bag of tricks on third down, successfully.

Jeremy Kerley came in at quarterback, and took a direct snap, rolled right, and threw a 41-yard strike to a wide open TE Matt Mulligan. There was a double element of surprise here – Kerley throwing and Mulligan being the target. Kerley, a high school quarterback, who was used on option plays at TCU, threw a heck of a pass on this play. It had nice zip on it, and got there in a hurry, and this allowed some quality running after the catch.

After a couple of very nice runs by LT (nine and seven yards), Sanchez took a sack for a loss of three. I say he took the sack because he went down as the pocket was starting to fall apart. Maybe he could have attempted a throw, but considering how turnover-prone the Jets have been lately, perhaps this was the way to go, and it just lost three because he stepped up on the pocket.

On the next play, Sanchez hit Keller over the short middle for a gain of 11 to the one-yard line. Then on third-and-one, Sanchez ran a bootleg to the right side, with a run that was sold very well by Sanchez and Greene up the middle, and hit Keller for a touchdown on the right side of the end zone. Keller was wide open.

What helped the Jets a little on this play, and they did a nice job taking advantage of it, was an injury to ILB Karlos Dansby, a terrific coverage linebacker. The injury happened on the 11-yard throw to Keller.

On the first play Dansby was out, there was some confusion in the Dolphins coverage, and Keller was wide open.

On the Jets next possession, on third-and-three, Sanchez threw high and wide to Kerley on the right side.

At first I thought this was a bad pass, but upon further review, it was pretty apparent that Kerley stumbled out of his break, on this surprisingly bad field. The field looked good to the eye, but the Jets really struggled with it.

In the fourth quarter Darrelle Revis is lucky he didn’t get hurt – covering a crossing route to Marshall in the middle of the field, as he attempted to cut with the receiver, he did a split like a ballerina.

The Jets had a number of issues in this game, but the awful field, can’t be left off the list.

You could say, “Yeah, but the Dolphins had to play on that field.”

But they clearly had a better understanding of it, and had more insight on what cleats to where.

We will have Part II of the passing game by 2 pm on Monday.