After weeks of watching their season slowly slip away, Jets fans finally got the change they wanted under center. With Gang Green needing to win their remaining five games to even have a prayer of seeing January football, Mark Sanchez was finally pulled after another horrible outing in favor of third string quarterback, Greg McElroy.
It only took McElroy one series to get six up on No. 6.
McElroy entered the game with 60,000 rabid Jets fans loudly applauding the quarterback change. The ovation put the stamp in Rex Ryan's mind that his fanbase had finally had enough of the inconsistent starter. McElroy returned his coach's faith in him by leading the Jets on a 10-play drive that ended with a 1-yard pass to a wide-open Jeff Cumberland. The points proved to be all the Jets needed as they escaped Sunday's ugly contest by a final of 7-6.
"It's just something that I sensed, that I felt," Ryan said. "When you're around this game long enough, you get that feeling that, 'You know what? I've seen enough, and it's time to make that change.'"
Sanchez dug himself into a hole early throwing three interceptions in the first five drives, including his first pass of the game. He failed to advance the ball more than 100 yards in his three quarters of play and finished the day with less than 50% completions. After McElroy ended the scoring drought, the writing on the wall was set for the end of the Sanchez era in New York. One need only hear Ryan's postgame comments to sense the dwindling faith that he has in a player that he has defended most often.
"I'll let you guys know who's going to be the quarterback when I'm ready," Ryan said. "We'll evaluate our situation as the week goes on. … Right now I'm just happy with the win."
GWR bring's you the Week 13 installment of "Greats and Goats".
Greg McElroy, QB
- Given the fact that McElroy had limited snaps in practice this week, he succeeded in the area that Sanchez failed. After capping his first regular season drive with a touchdown, McElroy effectively ended Sanchez's day and created another quarterback controversy for the Jets. Finishing the day 5 of 7 for 29 yards and a score, the Jets looked better after the change and responded well to the young Alabama alum.
New York Jets Defense
- The defense came up in a big way on Sunday and kept the team in the game the entire way. It was a defensive clinic at MetLife as the Jets didn't allow any flow for the Arizona offense. They kept the Cardinals to under 150 total yards offense (2.5 yards per offensive play), limited them to just five first-downs, and succeeded in stopping all third-down conversions. The defense showed why they are still an elite force in the NFL.
Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell, RB - Two bright spots for the struggling offense were the running back tandem of Greene and Powell. Greene rushed for over 100 yards and Powell for over 50. Together they contributed to over half of the total net yards that the Jets racked up on the day.
Mark Sanchez, QB
- The biggest goat of them all proved once again that he cannot live up to the pressure as a starting quarterback. He threw three interceptions in five drives and was held to just under 100 passing yards. Coupled with the horrible performance last week that included butt-gate and you have a serious debate about who will be under center next week against Jacksonville.
Nick Folk, K
- The Jets kicker failed to convert his two field goal attempts today. He will have to prove to be more consistent in case he needs to come up big in the final four must-win games.