Rand: Doubt comes out at this time of year in NFL

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 27, 2011 - 7:53 AM
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Is Mark Sanchez the quarterback to lead the New York Jets higher? Some observers are casting doubt.

Photo: Bill Kostroun, Associated Press - Ap

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If you've quickly transitioned from figuring out 2-14 draft position tiebreakers to possible 4-12 draft position tiebreakers, we recommend taking a break. There will be no talk of the 2012 NFL draft here as we barrel toward the final week of the 2011 season:

• Stop us if you've heard this before: A highly touted quarterback selected in the first round of the draft shows initial promise but follows it with some alarming turnover tendencies and suddenly makes fans -- and perhaps his own bosses -- wonder if he is really the long-term answer.

It sounds like it could be the developing Christian Ponder story. For now, though, we're talking about Mark Sanchez and the Jets. In his first two years in the league, Sanchez helped lead the Jets to within a game of the Super Bowl, but there are rumblings coming out of New York suggesting his recent play has cast a doubt over his future.

Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com cited a league source in noting "the Jets are beginning to realize that Sanchez may not be the answer at the position." Statistically, Sanchez is having his best season as a pro. He already has a career high in TD passes (24) and will almost certainly set a career high in yards. But the Jets have dropped back-to-back games and at 8-7 are very likely to miss the playoffs.

Still, it would a costly admission for the Jets -- who traded two draft picks and three players to move up in order and select Sanchez No. 5 overall in 2009.

• Raheem Morris might be the latest victim of his own success contrasted with more recent failure. His 2010 Tampa Bay squad went 10-6 and seemed primed for bigger things in 2011. But this year's squad -- after a 4-2 start that included victories over the Saints and Falcons -- is mired in a nine-game losing streak and his job could very well be in jeopardy. The four most recent Buccaneers losses have been by at least 16 points.

• Kansas City has nothing left to play for, but Kyle Orton does. The Chiefs QB will face his former team -- the Broncos -- with a chance to knock Denver and Tim Tebow out of the playoffs. "We knew it was a possibility," team executive John Elway told the Denver Post. "So, here it is. We have to go out there and play well. It was best for the team, bottom line. We made that decision knowing this was a possibility. Now we have to do it." Even with a loss, the Broncos will still win the division at 8-8 if Oakland also loses.

• The Associated Press interviewed 44 NFL players in the past two weeks, and 23 said they would try to hide a possible concussion in order to remain in a game. "The bottom line is: You have to be able to put food on the table," said Jacksonville star running back Maurice Jones-Drew. "No one's going to sign or want a guy who can't stay healthy."

MICHAEL RAND

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Cleveland - LP: T. Bauer 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 3
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: Z. Putnam 1
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 6
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: T. Walker 2
Detroit - WP: A. Sanchez 11 FINAL
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 5
Los Angeles - LP: D. Haren 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 6
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 3 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 1
Texas - LP: Y. Darvish 1 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Phelps 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 6
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: E. Santana 6
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 3 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 0
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 3
Houston 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Oakland 7
Baltimore 2 Bottom 6th Inning
LA Angels 1
Chicago 0 2nd Half 37:00
San Jose 2
Calgary 7/24/14 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Connecticut 75 FINAL
Washington 89
New York 48 3rd Qtr 0:25
Los Angeles 49
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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