Since the minute he took the field in the Jets’ season opener against the Texans, quarterback Mark Sanchez has stood out. Now he has something to wave in the faces of those who doubted him because of his lack of starting experience at USC: the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month award for September.
Among a talented crop of offensive rookies — including Ravens right tackle Michael Oher, who has mauled opposing defensive linemen, and Vikings receiver Percy Harvin, who has scored a touchdown in each of his first three games – Sanchez clearly has started his NFL career off better than anyone.
In fact, the 22-year-old signal-caller has already made a bit of history, becoming the first rookie quarterback to lead his team to victories in each of his first three games since 1969. Sanchez hasn’t been bothered by NFL defenses so far, averaging over 200 yards a game, with four passing touchdowns and two interceptions.
It’s a pretty good sign when, in his head coach’s mind, a rookie quarterback’s biggest mistake occurred on a play that resulted in a touchdown. But that’s exactly the case with Sanchez, who drew the ire of Rex Ryan for scrambling 14 yards to pay dirt against the Titans last week, and sacrificing his body against two Tennessee defenders near the goal line in the process.
Of course, his teammates were quick to praise his effort on that same play. And they’ve been behind Sanchez throughout his first month at the helm of the Jets’ offense, because he’s already showing the leadership skills of a seasoned veteran. No doubt, Trojans head coach Pete Carroll taught him well.
With an historic 3-0 record and a quarterback rating of 87.7 through his first three games, Mark Sanchez is well on his way to much bigger things than the Offensive Rookie of the Month award.