From ESPN's pigeon-lookin' John Clayton, perhaps the game's more reliable purveyor of lame conventional wisdom, comes another column of pointless drivel, one which also carries an added bonus of being totally wrong on several points.
ESPN'S John Clayton, reporting from the sidelines
The ostensible point is that among Mark "Dirty" Sanchez, Matt Stafford, and Sam Bradford, Sanchez will be the best this year. First off, let's all marvel at the piercing insight that the older player, with AFC title game experience under his belt, a better coach, and an actual running game will be more successful. I fully expect a future Clayton column to carry the title "Out-Scoring the Other Team: Secret to NFL Game Winning?" Clayton goes on to hype an eligible-for-AARP-benefits LaDanian Tomlinson, and the pass-dropping terminator Braylon Edwards, as if either of those guys will make it past about the 6th week of the season without breaking or straining something. What's awesome is that Sanchez threw 12 TDs and 20 INTs last year, having Edwards, Cochery, and an already thoroughly decent running back. Meanwhile, Stafford, despite looking like that kid in that Demotivator picture, had comparable stats with a shitty running game, and only Megatron as a legit target. EVEN MORE, it had to be a consistent exercise in pride-swallowing for Stafford to throw to him.
Matt Stafford through the years
Says Clayton: "The Jets plan to run the ball every bit as much as the did a year ago, and it would be a surprise if Sanchez doesn't complete more than 60% of his passes this season." Uh, yeah it would. It would surprise me very much, as a matter of fact. Sanchez was 29th out of 32 last year in completion percentage, and if the Jets are running the ball as much as they did last year, Sanchez will need to make a yuge improvement in his accuracy this year. Not having Braylon Edwards would be a big help.
Man, I could go on and on about how bullshit this column is.
"Sometimes, it's just a matter of sending you in and say, 'Just go play,''' Sanchez said in camp. "I think that comes with learning the system and feeling comfortable. You also need to let things go. You just need to get to the next play if you have a bad run play or an interception or incompletion. You just need to let it go. You can analyze the error but don't have paralysis by analysis.''
Dude, you can say that in camp, and realize it in your head, or you can actually feel it, and play like it, like Stafford did all last year. "Stafford has a stronger arm than Sanchez, but it will take him a couple more seasons to come close to being successful." Not according to the stats, pigeon. In fact, aside from their teams' records, they're pretty fuckin' comparable.
As a UGA grad, I'm rooting for Stafford here. Plus, I've played team trivia against him in Athens, and our team beat his ass. As far as I'm concerned, Sanchez can go eat a bag of dicks. The nice ones, though. From Target. Clayton obviously has a hard on for the guy. As my first A*F! prediction, which will likely follow in the hallowed footsteps of my predecessors of being howlingly, knee-slappingly wrong, I want to predict that Stafford and Sanchez will be statistically pretty fuckin' equal, or Stafford beats that ass.
Game on, Clayton. Game on.