Sanchez's Year : Not the Worst
The Jets' disastrous 2012 season is hardly surprising when you consider that quarterback Mark Sanchez has performed worse than all but one fourth-year quarterback in NFL history.Sanchez's passer rating heading into his start Sunday against Buffalo is 67.9, compared to the league-wide average of 83.6 (an all-time high). The only fourth-year quarterback making at least 12 starts who had a worse season than Sanchez was Scott Brunner of the 1983 Giants, according to Pro-Football-Reference. Coach Bill Parcells benched Phil Simms for Brunner that season. The next year, Simms was reinstalled and Brunner never started another game in the league.
Most alarmingly for Jets fans is that Sanchez entered this season with 47 starts, far more than any of the other fourth-year quarterbacks who similarly struggled. Brunner, for example, had only 18. Jack Concannon (1967 Bears), Ryan Fitzpatrick (2008 Bengals) and Cliff Stoudt (1983 Steelers) each had four or fewer.
Kordell Stewart is the only player to overcome such a poor fourth season and later make a Pro Bowl for the same team. That fourth season, however, was only Stewart's second as Pittsburgh's starter. Jake Plummer later found Pro Bowl-level success, but only after moving to Denver. Fitzpatrick later earned a big contract in Buffalo, but many expect Sunday's start against Sanchez and the Jets to be Fitzpatrick's last for the Bills.