The Philadelphia Eagles will have to play the remainder of the 2014 regular season without Pro Bowl starting quarterback Nick Foles, and they just might be OK with that. After Foles went down Sunday against the Houston Texans late in the first quarter with a broken clavicle, former New York Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez sprung into action.
Typically when a second-string player in the NFL has to fill in for a starter there is a drop off. This can especially be the case at the quarterback spot, but Sanchez actually has more game experience then Foles, and for quarterbacks at the NFL-level experience is everything.
As soon as Foles went down, Sanchez went in, and on the very first play completed a 52-yard pass to a red-hot Jeremy Maclin. Only moments later Sanchez put a beautiful pass right on rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews for a touchdown. Although Mark Sanchez would throw two interceptions later in the game, he also threw another touchdown to Jeremy Maclin with 3:50 left in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
In the last couple of years, the name Mark Sanchez unfortunately had a negative connotation, especially to the New York Jets faithful. From the interception riddled games, to the infamous “Butt Fumble” play, Sanchez had not ended his tenure with the NY Jets in a favorable fashion.
At the same time though an entire teams’ success does not solely lie in the play of the quarterback and this was certainly the case for the New York Jets in recent seasons. Some would say that Sanchez had very few weapons to throw to in NY. From an over-the-hill Santonio Holmes, to an inconsistent run game the 2013 New York Jets were average at best. They were 8-8 on the season, and did not win two games in a row until the last two weeks of the season.
This mediocrity led the front office of the Jets to let go of Sanchez after sitting out the entire 2013 season due to injury and invest in the future by sticking with young Geno Smith, who has proven to be ineffective so far.
During this past off-season, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Sanchez to a one-year deal. Typically teams will sign players to a one-year contract as a sort of “try-out” season, to see if they are worth signing to a multi-year contract. If Sanchez can lead this Eagles team to the playoffs and then some, it may be safe to say that Mark Sanchez could find a home in the Delaware Valley.
We will see how Sanchez fairs in his first start as an Eagle on Monday night against the Carolina Panthers.