Mark Sanchez struggling in play-action

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has been up and down in his four-year career. But one of his biggest and most consistent strengths has been his ability to throw on play-action passes.

Unfortunately for the Jets, that hasn't been the case this year. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Sanchez is ranked 30th in the NFL with a 45.8 completion percentage on play-action. Sanchez has thrown for 140 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Play-action passing is Sanchez's bread and butter, but there are various reasons his numbers are down. For starters, New York has a sputtering running game. Defenses do not have to respect the play-action if the Jets cannot run the football. Second, tight end Dustin Keller (hamstring) and now receiver Santonio Holmes (foot) are both injured. Finally, Sanchez’s overall accuracy (49.2) has been down this year.

The Jets need to figure out their offensive identity. Opposing defenses have been one step ahead because the Jets have yet to zero in on their strengths.