Week Two: 21-of-30, 220 yards, three touchdowns. Sanchez is a conquering hero.
So, in the remaining 14 games for the Jets, which Sanchez can we expect to see more often? Is he the dink-and-dunk quarterback who needs to be hidden, or is he the guy who makes enough throws downfield to topple the mighty Patriots?
The answer, oddly, lies with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Consider the defenses Sanchez has faced. The Ravens locked Sanchez down in Week One, but they'll do that to most quarterbacks they face, won't they? Ask the Bengals. After Carson Palmer(notes) threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, the Ravens went out today and made him look more like Arnold Palmer. He completed just 16-of-35 attempts for 167 yards.
Now, let's look at what the Patriots have done against the pass. The team Carson Palmer threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns against? Yep, that was the Pats. And this week, of course, Sanchez went buck wild on them.
I know the season is very young, and I don't want to extrapolate too much meaning from just two games. Obviously, time will tell -- about Sanchez and the defenses he's faced.
But it does seem possible that Sanchez played a really good pass defense and struggled, and then played a not-so-great pass defense and thrived.
And if that's the case, it means we're looking at an average quarterback. It makes Sanchez a guy who can take what the defense gives him, but not much more.
That's not a criticism, of course -- Sanchez is a second-year player, and if he's an average quarterback right now, he's ahead of the curve. His long-term potential is still there. The Jets have made it clear, though, that they're gunning for a Super Bowl right now. If they're going to get there, they're going to have to do it with an average quarterback.