A reporter asked Mark Sanchez this week if it bothers him that, despite being a first-round NFL draft pick and leading the Jets to two AFC title games, he’s probably best known for a fumble.
“I’m not following,” Sanchez said in a deadpan manner, breaking up the room.
The Redskins’ new starting quarterback then laughed off the question about the infamous “butt fumble” that took place when he ran into the backside of an offensive lineman during New York’s 49-19 loss to the Patriots on Thanksgiving 2012.
“What are you going to do? It was a crappy play in a game where we were getting our butts kicked,” he said, smiling. “No, listen: Who cares? It’s one play. And just move on. I prefer to remember the good stuff.”
Signed two weeks ago as an emergency backup for Colt McCoy, Sanchez was pressed into action in Monday’s loss at Philadelphia when McCoy became the second Washington quarterback in three weeks, after Alex Smith, to suffer a broken leg. Sanchez completed 13 of 21 passes for 100 yards and an interception and also recovered a fumble by holding the ball against his backside (seriously).
Sanchez, 32, will make his first start since 2015 on Sunday against the Giants, who are 3½-point road favorites over the Redskins.
Asked about his new teammates, Sanchez cracked, “Don’t ask me their names.” He has a great sense of humor, but he hasn’t won an NFL start in four years and will be operating behind a banged-up offensive line missing three starters.
Washington has lost three straight games and four of five and is coming off a short week. We’ll back the Giants, who have won three of their past four games while going 3-0-1 ATS and have covered their last five road games.
Saquon Barkley has rushed for at least 100 yards in three of his past four games, and the Redskins have allowed 134.4 yards per game in their last five. Eli Manning has thrown for 886 yards and seven touchdowns with two interceptions in his past four games, and Washington is 27th in passing defense.
Four more plays (home team in CAPS):
PACKERS (-4½) over Falcons: In the past 15 games after an NFL coach was fired during the season, teams have gone 10-5 ATS. Aaron Rodgers won’t admit it, but it was clear he wanted a coaching change and should turn in an inspired effort now that Green Bay has parted ways with Mike McCarthy. Atlanta is tied with San Francisco for the NFL’s worst spread record (3-9) and is on a four-game losing streak (0-4 ATS).
BILLS (-3) over Jets: Buffalo blew out New York 41-10 three weeks ago behind QB Matt Barkley and will have promising rookie QB Josh Allen running the show at home in the rematch. The Jets are on a six-game losing streak and 3-8 spread slide. Sam Darnold is expected to start for New York, but will have to solve the Bills’ top-ranked pass defense. Buffalo has covered seven of the past 10 meetings.
Patriots (-7½) over DOLPHINS: Miami has won and covered the past five meetings in South Florida. But the Dolphins have struggled since their 38-7 loss at New England in Week 4 and rank 29th in the league in total offense and defense. Ryan Tannehill’s shoulder still isn’t 100 percent, and cornerback Xavien Howard (league-leading seven interceptions) is out. The Patriots have covered the spread in eight of their nine wins and are in the top 10 in scoring offense and defense.
SEAHAWKS (-3) over Vikings: Seattle has been one of the league’s biggest surprises and is 6-1-1 ATS in its past eight games. Russell Wilson (29 TDs, five interceptions) directs a balanced attack featuring the No. 1 rushing offense (148.8 ypg), and the Seahawks have the No. 9 scoring defense. Inconsistent Minnesota has crisscrossed the country with consecutive trips to New England and now Seattle.
Last week: 1-4 against the spread.