Mark Sanchez knows he has to be more accurate for New York Jets passing offense to improve
BY Manish Mehta
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Thursday, October 28th 2010, 4:00 AM
Weissman for News Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (r.) knows he needs to be more accurate, but wideout Braylon Edwards (17) is confident the offense has the tools for a top passing attack.
Braylon Edwards reduced the answer to the simplest of terms. For all the preseason hype surrounding the Jets
' aerial show, the passing attack has been a statistical dud through the first six games.
"We're just a little antsy," the wide receiver said. "We know what we can be. We just got to settle down."
The Jets, who have as much pass-catching talent as anyone, rank 27th in passing offense, averaging just 175 yards per game. Rex Ryan
's club is the fourth-highest scoring team in the league (26.5 ppg) largely by remaining true to its ground-and-pound philosophy. Although Ryan admitted that he'd "prefer to run it 95% of the time," he's savvy enough to know the passing game must improve to help the Jets win it all.
"When we get this thing rolling - which we will - there's no limit," Edwards said. "We can come out at you from so many different angles that there really isn't a ceiling on what we can do."
Naturally, it starts with Mark Sanchez
, whose play has slipped after a torrid three-game stretch. The second-year signal-caller completed 61% of his passes with eight touchdowns and no turnovers in wins over the Patriots
He admittedly strayed from his fundamentals and struggled with his footwork in the next two games against the Vikings
. As a result, Sanchez completed just 51.4% of his passes with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Only four quarterbacks have a lower completion percentage than Sanchez's 55.4% through the first seven weeks.
"I have to be more accurate," Sanchez said. "I got to be more in tune with our guys - what routes they're running, how they're adjusting. It's only going to get better."
The Jets are one of the few teams without a true go-to receiver. Four players - Edwards, Dustin Keller
, Jerricho Cotchery
and LaDainian Tomlinson
- have between 19 and 24 receptions. Sprinkle in Santonio Holmes
, potentially the best of the bunch, and the passing attack should be a weekly headache for opposing defenses.
"If we hit one of those days where I'm hitting at 70%, it's going to be deadly," Sanchez said. "It's going to take a little more focus, even a little more attention to detail and getting back to some of the fundamentals that got away from me."
Ryan's belief that the passing offense will make great strides over the next two months is directly tied to his belief in Holmes, who has accepted playing a somewhat limited role as he gets integrated into the system. The former Super Bowl MVP has played fewer than 50% of the snaps in his first two games back from suspension.
Sanchez has made the right decisions at the right times to help the Jets to the league's best record entering Sunday's game against the Packers
. But he'll ultimately need to improve his accuracy and take full advantage of the difference-makers at his disposal.
"He's made the plays when it's mattered," Edwards said. "His energy has been a lot higher than last year, and he hasn't gotten down on himself. That's why we haven't gone in the tank
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