The Butt Fumble, Mark Sanchez’s greatest legacy, deserves a deep rewind | Jets – Patriots 2012

– It’s November 22nd, 2012. Thanksgiving day in America’s heartland, East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets are down 14 nothing
against the Patriots. The play breaks down and
Mark Sanchez scrambles in an attempt to save the day. But, why did the play break down? And where did these points come from? And, why is he headed
straight for that butt? To find out, we must rewind. It’s week 12 of the 2012 NFL season and the seven and three Patriots are already well on their way to their fourth
consecutive division title. The Jets, two year
removed from back-to-back AFC Championship appearances, are shit. They’re four and six
and actual human beings are debating whether
or not it’s a good idea to bench QB Mark Sanchez for
the newly acquired Tim Tebow. – It’s time to unleash Tebow. – But the animosity between the two teams tends to make for entertaining games regardless of how well each
team is doing that year. Their first matchup this
season was in week seven. It was a back and forth
battle that went to overtime despite this beautiful second
quarter ripper, by Sanchez, to the back of the net for
two New England points. In overtime, the Patriots
kicked a field goal and gave the Jets a chance
at a game ending touchdown. But Sanchez, caught off
guard by the active defense, fumbled the game away instead. So, all things considered,
people are expecting a good game, including schedule makers. Following the end to six years
of NFL Network exclusivity, this is the first
primetime Thanksgiving game shown on a broadcast network. With 20 million people watching live, a 30 second ad spot on
this game costs $975,000. But, the Jets are in a hole early. Their second drive of the game
was cut short by this man, Patriots safety, Steve Gregory, who picked off Sanchez with
the Jets in field goal range. Eh, who needs three points? – The Pats scored and the Jets became acquainted with Brandon Spikes. After Bilal Powell got stuffed running up the middle, on third down, the Jets decided to just do that again of fourth down within field goal range. But they gave Shonn Greene this time. Spikes reached across the pile and popped it outta Greene’s hands. The ball was chased down by
our friend, Steve Gregory, and a disheartened Shonn Greene
motioned to the sideline, “That’s a slippery a meatball.” So, here we are, the
Jets have the ball back down 14 nothing and, thankfully, aren’t in field goal range yet. That would be bad luck. They draw up a misdirection on first down, which means instead of
fullback, Lex Hillard, blocking for Shonn Greene who had come up the left
side for the handoff, Greene will peel off and Hillard
will take a quick handoff on Sanchez’s right side. They snap the ball and
Sanchez, immediately, turns the wrong way and
finds out everyone else is following the actual play call. So, like a scared little puppy, he runs and, smartly, he is headed
towards this man, Brandon Moore. Moore was an undrafted free agent that the Jets signed in 2002. In 2004, he blocked for Curtis Martin as he led the league in rushing and had been pivotal to
Sanchez’s early success. He’s coming of a 2011 pro bowl season and this is his 132nd
consecutive start for the Jets. And that’s him pushing fellow
pro bowler, Vince Wilfork, back and not the other way around. So, with the odds of success
heavily in Sanchez’s favor, let’s take a look at how he got here. As the nation’s top quarterback coming out of high school, in 2005, Sanchez was named successor
to the throne at USC once Heisman winner, Matt Lienart, left to enjoy a long and
fruitful career in the NFL. He eventually earned the
starting position in 2008 and threw 34 touchdowns en
route to a 12 and one season and MVP honors at the Rose Bowl. After the season, Sanchez said he didn’t think he could leave USC and, after only one season as a starter, it would be a pretty good
idea to stay in school. But then, stud QBs Colt McCoy,
Sam Bradford, and Tim Tebow all opted to stay in school
rather than enter the draft. So Sanchez took the opportunity
to be the bell of the ball and declared for the 2009 draft, despite Pete Carroll, his own coach, being a vocal critic
about his NFL readiness, – He knows that coming out early is a tremendous challenge
for a quarterback and the statistics don’t back up that it’s easy to be successful. – But what the (bleeping)
does a coach know? The Jets, at this time, had just fired head coach, Eric Mangini, and hired first time head coach, Rex Ryan. They also released 39 year
old quarterback, Brett Favre, leaving the position vacant. While watching a pre-draft
Sanchez throw around, Rex said, they saw great feet and he knew they had to have him. So they gave a call to
their old pal, Eric Mangini, who was now the head coach for the Browns, and flipped there 17th pick
and a handful of players for the number five overall pick. The Jets got their man. Mark Sanchez and the Jets
immediately silenced the doubters. He became the second rookie quarterback to win two playoff games
before losing to the Colts in the AFC Championship. The following year, Sanchez
and the 11 and five Jets faced the Patriots in the
divisional round of the playoffs in Foxborough. The Pats entered this game with an eight and one home playoff record with Brady at the helm, and were the obvious betting favorite. But Sanchez’s three touchdown passes, including an all-time Jets
catch by Santonio Holmes, in the corner of the end zone,
stunned the Patriots 28-21. The Jets advanced to the
AFC Championship game for the second year in a row. At this point, Mark Sanchez
was now tied for second in playoff road wins by a quarterback in NFL history, seriously. In 2011, Sanchez was named team captain and the Jets altered
their ground and pound, run first offense to one
more focused on their young stallion of a quarterback. For the first time since
Sanchez joined the team, the Jets threw the ball
more than they ran it. Considering Sanchez ranked
29th in completion percentage in 2009 and 2010, that might not have
been the smartest move. The team infamously crumbled
at the end of the season when Santonio Holmes,
the teams star receiver, just up and quit in the
middle of a week 17 matchup against the Dolphins. He spent the end of
the fourth on the bench following an in-huddle argument. A win would’ve sent them
back to the post season for a third year in a row but, instead, Sanchez threw two fourth
quarter interceptions. The Jets lost 19-17. In the off-season, anonymous
teammates leaked to the press that Sanchez was lazy. There was no competition
at the quarterback position and they felt that made Sanchez content. So, the Jets decided to go
out and sign competition to push him but, instead,
they traded for Tim Tebow. They started the 2012
season under a circus tent and Sanchez was in the
middle chuckin’ peanuts. With only three wins heading
into the week nine bye, fans were starting to give up and were calling for a switch to Tebow, which really says a lot
about the state of the team. And then, in week 12, the Jets hosted a primetime, Thanksgiving game against the New England Patriots. Down two scores, Mark
Sanchez is determined to get his team and career back on track. With over 20 million people watching, the Jets snapped the ball. Welcome to a moment in history. – [Al Michaels] In Indianapolis,
the offensive coordinator. You got a busted play, here, and then–
– Oh no! – ends, Sanchez gets hit, the
ball is loose and it’s alive. And then going into the
end zone is Steve Gregory. – [Chris Collingsworth] I
have never seen this before in my life.

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