Mark Sanchez Needs to be More Consistent

A more consistent Sanchez will be a winning Sanchez

There's a bit of a misconception surrounding the Jets as they prepare to kick off the 2011 season.

Everywhere you look, someone out there is saying the team's chances of taking the next step and advancing to the Super Bowl are linked to Mark Sanchez's ability to become a better quarterback. That would certainly help their chances, but it's an overstatement to say that the team needs him to become of the league's best quarterbacks in order to win it all.

What the Jets need is for Sanchez to become a more consistent quarterback. A more consistent quarterback qualifies as a better quarterback -- but most people are arguing that Sanchez needs to become more like Philip Rivers when he simply needs to bring the best Sanchez every week. 

For example, it is easy to look at Sanchez's 54.8 completion percentage last season and argue that he needs to connect on more of his passes for the Jets to win more games. In actuality, though, Sanchez just needs to eliminate the disaster games of last season without being all that much better in the other contests. 

He posted completion percentages below his season total in six games last season. The Jets lost four of those six.

In his other nine games (Sanchez didn't throw a pass in the season finale against Buffalo), Sanchez completed nearly 61 percent of his passes and the Jets won eight times. That's the same Sanchez that we've seen in the playoffs the last two seasons and the same Sanchez that inspires the belief that this can be another good season in Jetsland.

Now we're threatening to sink into some kind of semantic vortex here by arguing that Sanchez doesn't need to be better generally by saying that he needs to be better in one particular aspect of the game. The point is that Sanchez doesn't need to turn into a quarterback that he isn't; he just needs to be himself every week instead of having occasional weeks of turning into the second coming of Rick Mirer or Neil O'Donnell.

That's easier said than done, obviously, but it is also easier than magically transforming into a better quarterback all of a sudden. The argument that Sanchez, as he is right now, isn't good enough to take the Jets where they want to go is totally false.

The true argument is that he needs to be the same Sanchez every week.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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