During Sunday's Fox telecast of Mark Sanchez's public flogging, in between the moments when Brian Billick repeated "jump street" and read copy for New Girl, a graphic popped up: Mark Sanchez, it read, had turned the ball over 81 times since his NFL career began in 2009, the second most turnovers of any player in that span.
That was no surprise—Sanchez's fumbles and interceptions have punctuated most New York Jets games since he arrived. But who was the one player with more turnovers than the hapless Sanchez? Eli Manning, the two-time Super Bowl-winning Giants quarterback, the intrametropolitan envy of Jets fans. A winner. With 84 turnovers to Sanchez's 81.
How could this be? Football Outsiders's similarity scores look at Sanchez's last two years of stats and find his top comparable is none other than Eli Manning, from 2006 to 2007. Are the hero and the goat of New York quarterbacking really the same kind of player? If so, is Sanchez secretly good, or is Eli secretly terrible?