New York Jets: Mark Sanchez Must Make Most of Preseason Start Against Jacksonville Jaguars

By Nick Mamary
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

How many second chances can one man get? Well, it appears that New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is about to find out.

Everyone is aware  that Sanchez was benched last year for the first time in his career against the Arizona Cardinals. Those who remember this game remember how New York’s signal caller quickly threw three interceptions and failed to score any points. The Jets finally led when Greg McElroy led them down the field. If it was not for McElroy sustaining a concussion in his one start, it would have been entirely possible that Sanchez could have sat until this season.

A contract extension, of course, following 2012 basically prevented him from being cut. Now that rookie Geno Smith is struggling with an ankle sprain and a “brutal practice” according to head coach Rex Ryan, there becomes great opportunity for Sanchez to create separation in their position battle. It has already been confirmed that the former fifth overall pick in 2009’s NFL Draft will start New York’s second preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Regardless of whether Smith plays at some point in this game, there is a tremendous opportunity for his counterpart. Mistakes commonly found from inexperienced players should be gone. This fifth-year performer, however, continues to cause troubling turnovers. His interception against the Detroit Lions showed yet a continued struggle in looking off defenders.

Ryan’s job remains in jeopardy entering 2013’s campaign. Having Sanchez start at home in front of a crowd who has lost faith in him could backfire and serve as an old belief of favoritism. Yes, no alternative exists, but some form of progression must take place. If struggles mightily continue, throwing Smith into the fire Week 1 may become an ideal solution. The former USC star finished 10-of-13 last week and needs to establish some more signs of hope going forward.

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