Greg McElroy sacked 11 times as Jets’ QB situation keeps unraveling
You have to hand it to Rex Ryan and the Jets. Just when you think that their complete mess of a quarterback situation cannot get any more ridiculous, a day like Sunday comes along and changes the story again.
Ryan benched Mark Sanchez in favor of Greg McElroy following a debacle of a Week 15 loss to Tennessee. The Jets’ head coach then proceeded to activate McElroy, Sanchez and Tim Tebow against the Chargers … and still used wide receiver Jeremy Kerley as the focal point of the team’s wildcat formations, with Tebow relegated to the sideline amidst reports that he asked not to play in that scheme after being upset over his demotion.
Oh, right. McElroy also took 11 sacks during San Diego’s 27-17 win, one shy of the record for the most allowed by a team in a game and the most in Jets history.
McElroy turned the ball over twice (one fumble and one interception), though this was his first NFL start, so perhaps he deserves to be cut a little slack — especially with his offensive line struggling all day. Still, if the Jets were looking for someone to step up and redeem this season-long circus at QB, McElroy failed to deliver Sunday.
Tebow has grown increasingly frustrated with the situation and, while you can knock his skills, it’s hard to blame him. Since adding him in the offseason, the Jets have kept Tebow in a sideshow role, splitting time between blocking on punts and carrying the ball in short yardage.
Ryan announced after the game that McElroy would start in Week 17, as New York closes out its season against Buffalo — the Jets need to win to avoid finishing in a tie for last place in the AFC East. Turning back to Sanchez or giving Tebow a shot now may not make a lot of sense, but it’s hard to see McElroy fixing the Jets’ needs at the game’s most important position.
Somehow, the Jets did manage to score 14 points in the first quarter against the Chargers before the train jumped the tracks. San Diego ran off 20 unanswered points in the middle two quarters to take control.
And speaking of control, it’s beyond clear now that Ryan has lost his grip on this team, at least with regard to putting it in a position to win each week. Will the QB issue lead to Ryan’s firing after the season ends or will he get a shot at redemption in 2013?
If the Jets choose the latter, they will have to do something drastic to improve their quarterback play. Sunday, amazingly, marked another step back there.