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Stat Speak: Throwing it away

Mark Sanchez throws a pass against the New

Mark Sanchez throws a pass against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Dec. 24, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Not only was it a strange decision to have Mark Sanchez throw a career-high 59 pass attempts in the Jets’ 29-14 loss to the Giants on Christmas Eve, but it may have been a historically bad decision as well.

Since 2003, 34 players have attempted at least 55 passes in a game -- 31 of them ended up losing.

The two who won? That would be Tim Rattay (38-for-57, 417 yards, two touchdowns) with San Francisco in 2004 and Brian Griese (38-for-67, 407 yards, 2 TDs) with Tampa Bay in 2008. Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb (28-for-58, 339 yards, 1 TD) infamously played his team to a tie in a 2008 game against Cincinnati.

But let's delve a little further into this list:
- 19 of the players threw at least two touchdowns. Sanchez only threw one.
- 31 of the players threw for at least 277 yards. Sanchez threw for 258.
- 30 of the players had a completion percentage of at least 52.4 percent. Sanchez was at 50.8 percent.

Though no matter how low on this list Sanchez falls, he’s certainly not the worst. Detroit’s Joey Harrington (26-for-55, 241 yards, 0 TDs) received just a 37.0 passer rating in a 2003 game and even the great Peyton Manning threw six interceptions while going 34-for-56 in a 2007 Colts loss against San Diego.

Sanchez is also just the seventh Jet ever to attempt at least 59 passes. Vinny Testaverde did it three times, winning two of the games. Joe Namath did it twice, losing both games, and Richard Todd also reached the mark during a loss.

Sanchez threw for the fewest yards among the qualifying Jets, but had just the third worst passer rating on the list. The worst? Namath, who had a 40.3 rating for a 1970 game and a 44.6 rating for a 1967 game.

In the interest of equal time, the Giants have actually had three QBs attempt 59 or more passes: Kerry Collins twice and Phil Simms once. All three lost.

New York Sports