Even the one bad decision had been spun into a positive by the end. On the first drive of the game near midfield, Sanchez scrambled toward the sideline and, instead of just running out of bounds, tried to flick the ball to tight end Jeff Cumberland. The pass was picked off, and the here-we-go-again-groans filled the stadium.
“Mark, we don’t need it!” head coach Rex Ryan barked from the sidelines. But there was no moping from Sanchez. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis picked off Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the next series, and Sanchez responded with an efficient eight-play touchdown drive that ended with a pretty throw in the end zone to receiver Jeremy Kerley.
Greg Buttle was saying after the game that he put the play on Cumberland, not Sanchez. That if a receiver isn't blocking, he better be ready to catch a pass. I get Buttle's point, but I would say that both players were to blame. Cumberland for the inattentiveness but Sanchez for even throwing the ball to begin with. It was a poor decision by Sanchez, but he didn't do anything remotely like that again for the rest of the game and it has to have been a good electroshock moment for him to realize that his coach is right.
The defense is going to slow down many teams in the league, so that sort of play isn't necessary. Sanchez has made less and less of these plays over his time in the league, let's hope we'll see very few of them this year. Other than the one bad mistake, Sanchez was great all day and did I thought a really good job during the game looking off coverages and using his receivers well. Even if Sanchez is finally becoming the quarterback the Jets need him to be, I don't see it as a bad thing to have a change of pace backup who can pick up some yards on the ground.