Quarterback Controversy: The Paxton Lynch And Mark Sanchez Edition

Vito La Giorgia

For many college players, being selected in the first round of the NFL draft is like winning the lottery. For Paxton Lynch, he won the lottery, found the fountain of youth, and did it all while riding a unicorn.


Because Paxton Lynch got Peyton Manning's old job. Manning averaged 224.9 yards per game last season and 0.9 touchdowns – it's hard to believe but Manning had nine passing touchdowns in 10 regular season games and ended up winning the Super Bowl – not to mention 18 (just like his jersey number) interceptions, including the playoffs. From a statistical standpoint, that is not a tough act to follow/exceed.

Seeing how Mark Sanchez is a turnover machine and the team played with Brock Osweiler last season (who's game is similar to Lynch's), it doesn't seem outlandish to think that at one point this season, perhaps even on day one of the regular season, Lynch will be behind center to kick the defending Super Bowl champions season off.

Does he have the arm to hit Emmanuel Sanders downfield: yes.

Can he run Gary Kubiak's bootleg offense: maybe.

Is he potentially better than Mark Sanchez at both: yes.

Is he as experienced as Mark Sanchez: no.

Could Sanchez help Lynch: Definitely

Would he want to: no comment.

If Sanchez is head and shoulders ahead of Lynch mentally, gels with the team, and shows he still has the physical ability to excel in Kubiak's system, than the job is his to lose. If he turns the ball over enough times in what is presumably a very low threshold given their defensive prowess, he'll be on the bench faster than you can say "defending Super Bowl champions."

By no stretch of the imagination does anyone think the combination of Sanchez and Lynch can win a Super Bowl, let alone produce a playoff win. Then again if the defense plays the way it did against the Panthers in the last game of the season, anything is possible.

A veteran NFL coordinator told ESPN as much.

"They will win maybe 10 games, and they will get beat in the playoffs as soon as they have to throw the ball to win."

Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today got Kubiak to describe Lynch's performance following their first practice together.

"He's got a long way to go, but it's exciting to see him and what he could become … Just watching him today, I think he'll catch up pretty quick."

"We think (Lynch) is going to be ready quicker than a lot of people think."

Kubiak had huge success with the quarterback everyone seems to be comparing Lynch to, Joe Flacco. Flacco is still the only rookie QB to win multiple playoff games. Could that be in the cards for Lynch in 2016?

Some experts say the rookie will ride the pine and learn from Sanchez as long as Sanchez doesn't completely fall apart. Others think that a quarterback controversy will ensue from day one.

The biggest issue is the turnovers. Whoever can limit the mistakes and capitalize on the opportunities given how low the bar was set last year on offense, should find their name at the top of the depth chart.

[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]