Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to deliver a pass downfield during Sunday's 20-19 loss to Miami.
BY THE NUMBERS
FIRST 9 UNDER CHIP SANCHEZ 2014 8 Games as starter
4-4 Record as starter
64.1 Passing completion percentage
2,418 Yards passing
14-11 TDs to INTs ratio
7.8 Yards per passing attempt
88.4 Passer rating
1 Rushing TD
Note: Career record as a starter 41-35, including 4-2 in playoffs
BRADFORD 2015 9 Games as starter
4-5 Record as starter
63.9 Passing completion percentage
2,297 Yards passing
11-10 TDs to INTs ratio
6.9 Yards per passing attempt
82.4 Passer rating
0 Rushing TD Note: Career record as a starter 22-35-1, no playoffs
Never bought into the big picture.
A project initially starring Chip Kelly and then promoted as bolstered by Sam Bradford’s presence being added to the Eagles’ cast, it had all the makings of over-hyped disappointment for me. An abysmal crash-and-burn in the quality department no matter how it fared at the box office, or in the eyes of fans – which, of course, in this town includes the media as much as the everyday Joes.
Perhaps having that view from the jump is why the latest, most up-to-date panic attacks by the bandwagoners and hardcores alike really hasn’t registered any concern with me.
Seems a lotta nonsense about nothing.
Like, seriously, does it even matter if Bradford is out and the team is “stuck” with Mark Sanchez at quarterback? For a week? Two weeks? The rest of the season? Is it actually a downgrade? (Oh yeah, check out comparison to the left)
Not for nothing, but anyone who thinks the most babied athlete in recent Philly sports history’s backup is to blame for Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins should be forced to purchase a personal seat license in the “No Clue” section.
Forget any excuses about Sanchez not practicing with the starting unit in preparation for Bradford’s inevitable loss in the health column. The reality is, despite his blinders-wearing detractors out there who just mumble ad nauseam in unison like pods any time the possibility of him entering the game pops up, Sanchez DOES look better in Kelly’s hurry-up offense – not just because he’s been in the system longer, but because he’s a better athlete. At this point, by far a better athlete.
If you can’t see that, you’re either blind by belief in the bill of goods you’ve been sold on No-Slingin’ Sammy, or you’re just blind, period. Sanchez makes plays. He moves. He takes chances, and, yeah, he too often has been burned by doing so. But things happen with him in there.
Nothing happens with Bradford, nor will it ever, because he doesn’t make plays, he doesn’t move and he doesn’t take chances.
Sorry, but they’re a necessity if you have any chance to go from mediocre to special. Bradford ain’t ever leaving the former for the latter aside from short-lived happy mistake.
Whatever happened to his other-worldly physical talents between entrance into the University of Oklahoma through Week 10 of the 2015 NFL season is a mystery to yours truly, but he is pretty much a brittle, fragile display of “non-athlete” every time he steps between the lines anymore. The proclaimed arm strength Bradford possesses is more politically charged than a Democratic or Republican debate, based on hope and heresay more than any concrete evidence. Beyond that, what does he offer – a mind that processes play development better than Sanchez but doesn’t save him, or the Eagles, from the same kinds of mistakes?
Frankly, it’s comical to see Sanchez revive a dead offense, and, believe me, it was dead under Bradford’s direction after the first quarter Sunday no matter what his convoluted, puffed-up stats were, and make a brilliant play, such as the one he pulled off in keeping a play alive with his feet and then deftly drop in a touch pass over the head of a defender into the hands of DeMarco Murray racing down the far sideline, and then hear how he sucks. As if Bradford being in there would have saved the day.
Granted, Bradford may not have thrown the pick in the end zone that Sanchez did two plays later to kill a potential game-winning drive. But he never could have made that play to Murray in the first place, and the team was lifeless with him in there anyway.
Oh, and that INT … it wasn’t even Sanchez’s fault. No doubt he could have made a better choice in where he threw the ball and to whom. But if there is a concern about him turning it over there, Kelly never should have put Sanchez in a position to do so, and the coach damn sure shouldn’t have Miles Austin in the game as a possible outlet to any pass.
Austin, not Sanchez, was completely at fault on the physical act of the play. He gave up on the pass, allowing Miami’s Reshad Jones to somehow go from trailing to leading the receiver and snatch the ball.
Austin, at this point, is just stealing money. Whatever amount the Eagles are paying him, be it five mil or five cents, it’s too much. He sold out Sanchez one more time before this one was over, too, not even looking up on a crossing pattern six yards downfield from his quarterback, instead looking out for defenders to make sure he’d be able to cash any check, on the ill-fated final series.
Austin needs to be gone … yesterday.
So, too, does this silly belief – fantasy being the preferred word here – that Kelly and Bradford, either together or individually, will lead the Eagles anywhere outside of mediocre, and the blame by anyone that someone such as Sanchez is keeping either from doing so.