How to take down NFL Playoffs quarterbacks: Mark Sanchez

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How to take down NFL Playoffs quarterbacks: Mark Sanchez
The most amazing thing about New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is that this is only his second year playing in the professional league. He became the first rookie quarterback to win the first three games of the season that he has started in.
Sanchez’s amazing performance in his second year got the Jets to the playoffs in the first place. He had a 127.3 season high quarterback rating against their division rivals, the New England Patriots, in Sunday’s divisional playoff game. They will be playing
against the Pittsburgh Steelers in next Sunday’s American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game, but what makes Sanchez so great?
With two AFC Championship games already under his belt, there is one thing that even those who hate the Jets have to give Sanchez credit for; he is determined to make his passes count when they matter the most. His mental toughness is pretty impressive for
a 24-year-old and he has confidence in his entire offensive line. He is not afraid to chuck the ball to his receivers and let them do the rest of the work from there.
Sanchez is a pretty good deep passer but runs hot and cold. The Jets’ coaches do a great job of putting him up for easy throws, and using running backs to make him more confident until he becomes comfortable in a game, at which point he becomes pretty solid
in terms of passing. Take a look at Sunday’s game. His longest passes were in the second half of the game, one of which was a catch and run for 58 yards, which resulted in a touchdown. His longest pass of the season came in the second quarter of the game against
the Detroit Lions. He threw a 74-yard touchdown pass out of the shotgun formation.
This just goes to show you that it Sanchez a bit of time to find his stride. He was forced to perform even better against the Pats and thrived exceptionally. Maybe it’s time for Sanchez to move forward even more in terms of mental focus. He also did great
on third down conversions, once again showing that he is a great clutch quarterback. Sanchez is light on his feet and can make great plays when he needs to scramble, and on designated plays when he is supposed to leave the pocket. All in all, Sanchez rarely
goes down for a loss.
So how are the Steelers supposed to stop Sanchez? The main problem with him is protecting the
ball. Although Sanchez has greatly reduced the numbers of interceptions this season, he still has an unusually high number of near interceptions. Those are the passes that are swatted away by defenders or the defender drops the interception due to
an error on his part. As with many other young quarterbacks in the NFL, Sanchez cannot see the field properly, and is at his best when he gets a few crucial seconds to scan the field. Another major problem with him is
passing accuracy.
Sanchez is the least impressive quarterback out of the four that are left in the playoffs as far as physique goes. To make Sanchez’s next game a living nightmare, the Steelers have to do what they are great at doing; eliminate the Jets’ running attack. The
Steelers are number one in the league in terms of offensive rushing yards allowed, with an average of only 62.8 yards per game. They just have to do what they do best.
However, they did not do so well in their last match-up. The Steelers allowed the Jets to rush for 106 yards, almost twice as many as they allowed from any other team. They lost that game, so Sanchez will have to be careful; the Steelers are out for blood.
 Aside from limiting the Jets’ runners, the Steelers would also want to force Sanchez to throw deep and hurried passes. Those will give the Steelers the best chance for a block or interception.
In the next article, we’ll take a look at the other side of the league. The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears will be facing off on Sunday against each other, lead by Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, respectively. Who will emerge victorious? We will figure
that out on Sunday.



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