The biggest change between the first quarter of the Jets’ 2009 season and 3-1 entering Week 5 is Mark Sanchez.
He’s not throwing interceptions anymore. He has eight touchdown passes, including two in Sunday’s 38-14 trouncing of the Bills, but has yet to throw a pick this season. Last year at this time, he had five interceptions against four touchdown passes in a rookie season in which he would throw 20 interceptions and just 12 touchdown passes.
The Jets were 3-1 a year ago, too. Only this time, Sanchez doesn’t look lost anymore. He apparently is over his rookie blues plus an opener against this year where he never tested the Ravens’ secondary with Braylon Edwards or Jerricho Cotchery.
It helped him greatly to have LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene offer a pair of 100-yard rushing efforts in a 273-yard rushing effort to keep the pass rush away. But just as helpful was fast-maturing tight end Dustin Keller, now a go-to guy who caught one of Sanchez’s end zone throws to blow the game open at 31-7 in the third quarter.
With Santonio Holmes coming off his four-game suspension next week, Keller could be in line for even more work as defenses try to account for the three wideouts.
And Sanchez seems prepared to deliver the ball everywhere, without mishap.