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Early Portion of 2012 New York Jets Schedule as Tough as It’s Made Out to Be?

May 24th, 2012 at 10:01 AM
By Donald Lappe

There has been a lot of talk about how tough the first five games of the 2012 New York Jets schedule are going to be. As always, it has been brought back to the Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez debate. Mark Sanchez supporters, or Tim Tebow haters, think Sanchez has been set up for failure because he has to face four tough defenses in the first five games. Is it really such an impossible task?

'Jets-Dolphin game, Nov 2009 - 013' photo (c) 2009, Ed Yourdon - license:

The opening five-game stretch of the New York Jets 2012 schedule is certainly no walk in the park. The Jets open up with the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans. Three playoff teams, one much-improved team and four good defenses.

The last part is why all of the chicken littles in the ranks of the Mark Sanchez supporters are crying out about Sanchez being set up to fail. They have visions of a 1-4 start and Tim Tebow being painted as the conquering hero again, just as he was with the Denver Broncos after a 1-4 start in 2011.

All Mark Sanchez needs to do to hold on to his job is win. If the Jets go 3-2 in the first five, he'll still have his job. In fact, 2-3 would probably be good enough to keep him as the starter.

And therein lies the problem with the attitude that Sanchez has been set up to fail because he has to face some tough defenses early on in the season. Isn't that why you draft a quarterback in the Top 5? To beat good defenses?

It's an interesting phenomenon that we saw happening back when Tim Tebow was first acquired from the Broncos, when many want to protect Mark Sanchez:

"The general public reaction to the New York Jets trading for Tim Tebow pushes forward the perception that Mark Sanchez is fragile mentally. The feeling that this move is going to ruin Sanchez's confidence or upset him in some way is especially prevalent amongst those that consider themselves to be Sanchez backers. They are criticizing the Jets organization for putting their quarterback in such a position – but doesn't that reflect worse on Sanchez than it does the Jets front office?"

And it ends up reflecting poorly on Sanchez. The Jets didn't draft Sanchez so he could skate to 10-win season by piling up wins against mediocre NFL teams. The Jets drafted Sanchez to take them to the next level and win a Super Bowl. And supposed Sanchez supporters believe that he can.

But he can't be subjected to four good defenses in the first five games of the 2012 NFL season?

It projects a lack of faith in the quarterback, even by those that support him. It's year four for Sanchez. He's not a rookie on a three-win team taking on that stretch. This is a guy with two AFC Championship Game appearances on a team that fancies itself a Super Bowl contender.

So win. Stop crying about the schedule and Tebow and whatever else will be the root of his failure. Sink or swim, on your own. To be fair, it's not even Mark Sanchez that is doing the complaining, but being that it's people that tag themselves as his supporters, it reflects poorly on him.

If those that champion him don't think he can do it, then who does?


Tags: Football, Jets 2012 schedule, Mark Sanchez, New York, New York Jets, New York Jets 2012 schedule, NFL, Tim Tebow

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