The wait is over. The New York Jets have finally pulled the plug on Mark Sanchez. Rex Ryan named Greg McElroy the starter early Wednesday morning. This move has been heavily anticipated and was long overdue. Ryan's decision comes after Sanchez threw four interceptions and fumbled to end the game. That performance not only lost the game to the Tennessee Titans, but also eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.
"I respect coach's decision," Sanchez explained. "Obviously, I want to be out there playing, so I don't necessarily agree with it, but when something like that happens, I just do my best to support Greg (McElroy) and support the team and get him ready to play. Then, obviously, prepare like the starter in case I need to go in there."
The Jets need to keep two things in mind. First, the organization needs to decide if Sanchez is still the quarterback of the future or if they want to go in a different direction. Second, who would take Sanchez's spot as the leader of the offense?
This season Sanchez has thrown 17 interceptions and has a 54.7 completion percentage during the 2012 season. Sanchez has thrown only 13 touchdowns, the least amount in a season since he threw 12 during his rookie campaign.
"Well, it's disappointing," Sanchez said. "You just hate letting other guys down on the team and that's the worst part of it. You're going in there, trying to play well and improve and (I) just made some bad decisions. I just have to take care of the football better and own up to my mistakes and get better.
These mistakes helped keep the Jets out of the playoffs for the second straight season. The week has not been pretty for the fourth year player. He has officially been benched by Ryan. Also, Sports Illustrated reported Sanchez received death threats on twitter. There has also been talk that the Jets are ready to possibly trade Sanchez in the offseason. The Jets might look towards another struggling quarterback during the offseason. Many believe that they may be interested in the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
Of course Sanchez cannot take all of the blame for this disappointing season. There have been multiple injuries to some of the Jets' star players. Sanchez has lacked major playmakers in the huddle and for that reason the Jets have not had a consistent contributor on the offensive side of the ball.
Now, McElroy is the starter. He appeared in one game this season and helped lead the Jets to a second half comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals. McElroy went 3-5 for 29 yards and a touchdown. When McElroy entered the game the fans at MetLife stadium became energized and the team was motivated. McElroy can give hope for the Jets future if he performs well this week.
As for the third quarterback, he will most likely keep his role apart of the Wildcat offense. It was believed the reason Tim Tebow was acquired during the offseason was because he would give Sanchez some competition. If Sanchez didn't perform then Tebow would be the player leading the troops. But, that's not the case. Sanchez is out as the starter and second year quarterback Greg McElroy is the Jets' guy.
"It's been a tough one, but we have two games left and we're really focused on just going out and playing," Sanchez said. "(We're) playing for a little bit of pride here, trying to get back to .500, and whatever that means for me personally, just helping Greg as much as I can and then be ready for my next shot."