For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Eagles playoff hopes rest on the shoulders of Mark Sanchez. While it is unclear how many games Sam Bradford is going to miss, at 4-5, the Eagles have left themselves with such a low margin for error that the game this weekend against Tampa Bay has to be considered a must-win. With Sam Bradford at the helm, the Eagles offense has been inconsistent and uneven all season long. However, while Bradford was showing some improvement, he just wasn't get the job done. As much as I've seen my fill of Sanchez as the Eagles starting QB I must admit, this offense desperately needs a spark from somewhere. Can it be from Mark Sanchez? Based on the predictable back-breaking INT he threw vs. the Dolphins last weekend in relief duty it doesn't look likely. During much of the offseason, it seems the basement most people set for Bradford, "if healthy" was that he could be Mark Sanchez without the turnovers. Whoops. In 9 starts this season Sam Bradford has 10 INTs and 6 fumbles. In 8 starts last year, Sanchez had 11 INTs and 7 fumbles. I could sit here and right a post about how Mark Sanchez is a poor decision maker and a turnover machine but everyone knows it and everyone has covered that.
Bradford's performance this season begged the very good question from Jimmy Kempski, "What Does Sam Bradford Do Well?" Truth is, while Bradford has had some bright spots this year, there's absolutely nothing that you can hang your hat on that he has done consistently well. We thought we were getting an excellent decision maker. We haven't seen it. We thought we were getting an accurate passer. We haven't seen it. We thought we were getting a guy who would thrive in the fast pace no-huddle offense. Haven't seen that either.
The one immediately noticeable thing we all saw when Sanchez took over was a dramatic difference in the pace that this offense moved. It appeared Bradford was running this offense at a snails pace compared to everyone else who has run this offense. Pace and tempo is one of the competitive advantages of Chip's Kelly's offense. Bradford hasn't been able to run it that way for whatever reason.
But unfortunately, tempo alone doesn't win football games. If you are looking for perhaps a glimmer of hope on what Sanchez might offer that could jump start this offense, I might have something for you.