There is a lot of chirping in New York right now about Mark Sanchez not being the future QB of the Jets. Everyone is very quick to forget that he has gone to the AFC Championship game in two of his first three seasons and even though the Jets didn’t make the playoffs this year Sanchez threw for a career high 26 TD’s. I’m not going to argue the merits of if Sanchez is a good QB or not but what I will do is tell you why the Jets are starting the wrong Mark at QB. That’s right, I’m saying that Mark Brunell should be the starting QB of the Jets next year.
Mark Brunell will turn the ripe old age of 42 at the start of next season. He’s definitely no spring chicken but what he does have going for him is that he has played very sparingly the last four seasons. How sparingly? He has only started one game (which was with the Saints three years ago) and in his two years with the Jets he has started none. Because of the lack of hits he’s been taking he doesn’t have the body of a 42 year old. Instead his body and arm are more like that of a 38 year old. In case you forgot, John Elway won a Super Bowl when he was 38 years old and Rich Gannon and Kurt Warner each started one when they were 37. This just proves that it’s not that far fetched for an aging QB to lead his team to the Super Bowl.
Now that you’ve wrapped your head around a 42 year old QB being able to still compete in the NFL the question is how would he play? It’s hard to take a lot from the limited action that he’s seen over the last four years because it was limited action. There’s no way to get into a grove when you are called upon to play for a quarter and a half or even just one game. Even if we do look into his stats from the last four years you’ll see that he has thrown as many TD’s as INT’s (2). That’s not too shabby considering for his career Mark Sanchez has a TD to INT ratio of 55 to 51.
If we look at the last two seasons that Brunell got significant playing time (05′ and 06′ with the Redskins) we see that he led the Redskins to a 9-6 record in 05′ throwing for more than 3000 yards with 23 TD’s and 10 INT’s. That plus 13 TD to INT ratio is better than Sanchez has had in any of his three seasons and the 10 INT’s is less than Sanchez has thrown in any season. That year the Redskins actually made the playoffs and won a game (I know, shocking). The following year the Redskins were not the same team and Brunell ended up taking a lot of heat for their lack of success. As a starter he went 3-6 before being benched for Jason Campbell. Despite the losing record Brunell set a record for most consecutive completions as he hit his first 22 attempts vs the Houston Texans. He also set a Redskins record for highest completion percentage for a game (88.9%). That year he ended up throwing 8 TD’s to 4 INT’s. Considering that’s a 2 to 1 TD to INT ratio I think that a lot of the blame for the lack of success for the Redskins can be attributed to other players.
If Brunell is starting for the Jets you aren’t going to have to worry about any diva attitude, photo shoots in GQ, or a ton of mistakes being made. He’ll just be happy to get another shot as it’s definitely going to be his last so he’ll be the model teammate. On top of that the motivation for him to perform well and get another paycheck is probably more than any other QB in the NFL. Brunell made some less than smart investments and is currently broke. The pressure to put food on the table and support your family can make a man do some unbelievable things.
There you go Jets fans, Mark Brunell is the answer. I know that it’s not as sexy as signing Jeff George but what really is?