Mark Sanchez Fox Browns Broncos Screen grab: Fox

Cleveland Browns fans didn’t enjoy watching their favorite team’s Week 12 matchup against the Denver Broncos. But if the reaction of social media was any indication, it wasn’t just the Browns’ 29-12 defeat that contributed to the negative viewing experience, but also Mark Sanchez’s call of the game.

Now in his third season working as an analyst for Fox, Sanchez called Sunday’s AFC showdown in Denver alongside play-by-play man Kevin Kugler. And while Cleveland fans were already in a surly mood thanks to the on-field product, the former New York Jets quarterback’s commentary only seemed to enhance their outrage, with complaints ranging from Sanchez’s attempts to predict play calls à la Tony Romo, to the USC alum’s complaints about the Browns’ play-calling.

It also wasn’t just Browns fans who took issue with Sanchez’s call of Sunday’s game either.

Having watched the Fox broadcast myself, Sanchez’s propensity for predicting plays right before they happened was certainly distracting — although, to his credit, he was often right. Romo made his name with similar in-game predictions, but the reality is that as a former All-Pro, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback carries more cache than Sanchez, whose NFL career is largely remembered by fans as a disappointment epitomized by a play known as “The Butt Fumble.”

(Happy 11-year anniversary, by the way)

While some of the criticisms of Sanchez’s call of Sunday’s game were legitimate, there was also some of the standard stuff you hear fans complain about during nearly every broadcast, with both Broncos and Browns fans accusing the 37-year-old of rooting for the other team. It’s also important to remember that Sanchez is only in his third season of doing this and is hardly a finished product as a broadcaster.

As Greg Olsen has proven, you don’t have to be a future Hall of Famer to be a fan favorite in the broadcast booth. But as the reaction to Sanchez shows, analysts who aren’t perceived to have performed at a certain level during their playing careers might be facing an uphill battle.

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.