Civil War and Thursday Night Football - Open Thread

We could all use some football to break up today's business. I understand many fans enjoy the process of building a team as much or more than the football itself. For them, Field Gulls will spare no white man in suit in our search for Seattle's next general manager. I enjoy the football more.

Mark Sanchez faces the Buffalo Bills, the NFL's second place defense by interceptions. Despite playing behind an elite offensive line, that paves the way for a very good run game, Sanchez has the highest interceptions rate among starting quarterbacks: 6%. His draftmate Matthew Stafford is nearly a full percentage point lower. Both players should worry their fans, because both players have done little to prove they will not bust.

I cut Stafford a little more slack because he's about a year younger and plays for a significantly worse team. Sanchez is plain scary. He has become worse over the course of the season, despite suffering no major injuries. He plays on a ready-made offense with one of the best left sides in football. When the Jets run game and defense can not win the game for New York, or when the Jets fall behind, Sanchez unravels in bust-like fashion.

Young quarterbacks are usually bad. Sometimes a Matt Ryan or Ben Roethlisberger lands in a perfect situation and starts out hot, but even Ryan and Roethlisberger have suffered setbacks since. Peyton Manning led the league in interceptions his first season, but also set the rookie record for touchdown passes. Young quarterbacks are bad but give fans reason to hope - successful young quarterbacks do.

Stafford, arguably, had that moment against the Browns. He fattened against a bad team, but fattened nonetheless and led his team back from a big deficit to a heroic victory. Sanchez has had no such moment. Both players are already showing troubling signs of busting. For Jets fans, Sanchez showing anything would be heartening, because young quarterbacks are bad, but few successful quarterbacks were ever as bad as Sanchez is today.

Something to keep in mind next season, when Seattle is most likely breaking in their young quarterback. He doesn't have to be great from his first snap, but if he isn't better than crippingly-bad after his first season, it's time to worry.

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