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Shutdown Corner

Mark Sanchez’s tryst with Eva Longoria is Jets’ latest non-distraction distraction

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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"Wait ... Eli's better than BOTH of us? Combined?!?!?" (AP)

As it turns out, Mark Sanchez did score during the preseason -- he just didn't do it with the New York Jets.

The ostensible starting quarterback of everybody's favorite preseason offensive disaster has been spotted with the lovely Eva Longoria, and apparently, it's far more serious than Tony Sparano's offensive game plans.

From the New York Post:

Wearing a lace top that offered even less resistance than the Jets' offensive line, the actress strutted her way to an evening of entertainment that included a viewing of the Broadway hit "Rock of Ages" followed by a romantic dinner at the Japanese hot spot Nobu.

Longoria appears to have fully recovered from her marital airball with San Antonio Spurs star point guard Tony Parker and has become smitten with the Jets' starting quarterback.

Longoria also had a go-round with Spanish singer Eduardo Cruz, but that didn't last. By all accounts, the actress is head-over-heels for the Sanchize, and good for them. It's nice to know that even a big-market quarterback and former GQ model can outkick his coverage.

[Related: Greg McElroy leads Jets to TD in 28-10 loss to Eagles]

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Well, you might be "distracted," too. (AP)

Of course, this news will cause every Jets observer looking for more reasons for the team's woeful offensive performance -- they didn't cross the red zone in the preseason until third-string quarterback Greg McElroy led them there against the Philadelphia Eagles' seventh-string defense in the exhibition finale -- to wonder if Sanchez doesn't have his head in the game enough, and that's why the Jets are unable to bust a grapefruit near the goal line.

That's one thought, and we're quite sure that the Skip Baylesses of the world (hopefully, there's just the one Skip Bayless, we thought as we typed that) will squeal that Sanchez's time with Longoria is the real problem behind the quarterback's inability to move to the "next level." He went to the Caribbean with a hot actress? ZOMG!!! That's why he threw those red zone picks!!!

Here's another possibility: Maybe Mark Sanchez is just an average quarterback in a below-average offense, and if he plied his trade in Jacksonville or Tennessee, we would have heard very little about him after he left USC for the NFL in 2009. Sanchez has never finished higher than 28th in the league in Football Outsiders' per-play opponent-adjusted metrics (DVOA), and never higher than 20th in FO's season-cumulative DYAR stats. Forget the idea that his next level is the top: Sanchez still has to look up to see league average. Sanchez's potential "greatness" is trumped up by those who believe that quarterback wins are meaningful, and those who believe that New York needs a marquee quarterback at all times.

[Related: Tim Tebow fans are not necessarily fans of the Jets]

(Hint: New York actually DOES have a legitimate marquee quarterback based on performance, but he plays for the Giants. You know -- that Super Bowl champion team you backpagers keep ignoring).

Maybe Mark Sanchez will never become "elite," because it just isn't in him to do so, and shouldn't he take advantage of the good life while he can? After all, not every woman is monumentally impressed with Sanchez, and it seems that the more they understand the game, the less overwhelmed they are. As Stacey Greenberg, wife of ESPN radio jock and long-suffering Jets fan Mike Greenberg, recently put it on Twitter:

(@StacyGSG)

Sometimes, the girls know more about the game than the guys, you guys.

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