New York Jets coach Rex Ryan thinks that this year’s team is the one that’s going to win it all. Sure, he felt good about last year’s team and the team before that, because he said those teams were going to win Super Bowls. But as much as we make fun of that feet-loving King Hippo clone, he’s supposed to dish hyperbole. And his latest plate is loaded with love for his QB, Mark Sanchez, whom Ryan says is an elite QB.
Despite putting up regular season numbers that rival Chad Henne, Sanchez is the Jets’ all-time postseason leader in wins (4) and he’s tied with Len Dawson, Jake Delhomme, Joe Flacco, and Roger Staubach for most postseason victories on the road. And as CBS Sports points out, only Sanchez and Ben Roethlisberger have taken their squads to the AFC championship game in their first two seasons as QB. Of course, Roethlisberger has a different record in those games, but Ryan doesn’t care about that.
“This guy has won four playoff games in two years, all on the road,” Ryan said Thursday. “When you talk about elite quarterbacks, I think he’s an elite quarterback because he wins the big games and he’s a winner.”
“That’s all I want him to do, just win,” Ryan said. “Don’t worry about anything else. The stats will take care of themselves. Let’s just go out and win.”
One could argue that the Jets’ defense is more responsible for those wins than Sanchez and his oft-errant passes, but people will just invoke Trent Dilfer and the 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens, because the QB has to be responsible for wins and losses. It can’t possibly fall on anyone else. So I guess it’s settled – Sanchez is up there with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, right?
“No, not those two,” Ryan said. “Those two have won Super Bowls. Peyton Manning’s won a Super Bowl and he’s won a zillion games and, in my opinion, is the best quarterback in football. And you have Tom Brady, who has only won three Super Bowls, been the MVP of the league three times.
“We’re a ways from there. There’s no doubt.”
Oh, OK. Those guys are above elite. They’re Super Elite. So Sanchez ranks right behind them then, right?
“I certainly understand where Eli’s coming from,” Ryan said. “He’s been there and done it. He’s won a Super Bowl. He’s a great quarterback. Now, is he Tom Brady and Peyton? Probably not, but he’s pretty darn good. And, I think Mark Sanchez is pretty darn good.”
Ah, that’s right – Eli Manning thinks he’s elite, too. And he has a Super Bowl, but Sanchez has those playoff wins, so that makes them even, according to Ryan. I guess that makes Ryan’s list look like this:
1) Tom Brady (3 Super Bowl wins)
2) Peyton Manning (1 Super Bowl win)
3) Mark Sanchez
4) Eli Manning (1 Super Bowl win)
Then it’s a considerable drop off to:
5) Ben Roethlisberger (2 Super Bowl wins)
6) Aaron Rodgers (1 Super Bowl win)
7) Drew Brees (1 Super Bowl win)
And then all of those other losers. To be fair to ol’ loudmouth, Sanchez currently has his best offense since becoming the starting QB of the Jets, so there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to perform at an elite level this season. If he can’t put up better numbers than a 75 passer rating or 17 TDs and 13 INTs with Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason, then Ryan should have to swallow him whole.