Esiason defends Sanchez, says Jets QB can excel vs. Pats' D

While most everyone was piling on Mark Sanchez for his atrocious Sunday night performance against the Baltimore Ravens, the "Sanchize" does have one defender in the media, and it's someone who knows what it's like to take criticism as a New York Jets quarterback.

Joe Namath? Good guess, but no -- it's Boomer Esiason, who was asked in a story on the team's official website how well Sanchez was reading defenses this season.

"It's almost impossible to do that when someone's hanging on your neck," Esiason said, echoing Namath's criticism of New York's offensive line.

"You can see that he's tough. You can see that it means something to him. That's what you want, and things will turn around," Esiason said. "They'll get confidence in one another again. All it takes is one win in the NFL, and if they're able to beat the New England Patriots next week, we're standing here and it's a completely different perception about this football team.

"They came into the season thinking, 'We have a third-year quarterback, we have Santonio Holmes, who we're paying $50 million to, and we have Plaxico Burress, who thinks of himself as an all-star, so we have to start using these guys," he continued. "I think they're still trying to find out how to get in a rhythm ... I'm telling you, the defense of the New England Patriots could be a defense that allows them to have that."

"The New England Patriots are a different kind of defense. They're not like (the Ravens), they're not pressure-oriented. They sit back and they're kind of cumbersome. They're large and they kind of bait you into mistakes as opposed to forcing you into mistakes like the Ravens do. I would suspect this week that he's (Sanchez) going to have a really good game."

Spoken like someone who'll be watching Sunday's game from a safe distance.

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