Ever since the Jets picked up Tim Tebow in the offseason, rumors have been flying about when and if he would end up replacing starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. With a 4-7 record going into Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, fans were as anxious as ever to see Sanchez on the bench and watch his backup take some snaps. In the third quarter, fans finally got their wish. But since Tebow was inactive with a rib injury, third-stringer Greg McElroy was the one they saw run onto the field.
The entire game was tough to watch, whether you’re a Cardinals or a Jets fan. Sanchez threw an interception on his first snap of the game, and he would throw two more on top of that. Sanchez has now thrown more interceptions than touchdown passes this season, and was 10 for 21 with 97 yards before coach Rex Ryan pulled him in the third quarter.
The Cardinals’ quarterback Ryan Lindley didn’t exactly pop-off either. Lindley failed to score a touchdown, despite the three turnovers, and the Cardinals were held to only two field goals. Lindley was 10 for 31 and an interception.
With just under five minutes left in the third quarter, the game took a slight turn for the better. Rex Ryan finally decided to pull Sanchez and send in rookie Greg McElroy. McElroy’s first NFL drive ended with a touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland, which would also end up being the only touchdown of the game. McElroy ended the game 5 for 7 with 29 yards. The Jets won 7-6.
“It was time for a change,” Ryan said in the post-game press conference. “I’ll always do what I think is in the best interest of our team and find ways to win.”
Ryan still did not say whether or not McElroy will be the starter this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jets are now 5-7 this season. With the AFC East already clinched by the Patriots, the Jets’ playoff hopes remain slim to none. However McElroy could prove to be a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel for Jets fans, as the sports world is left wondering whether or not we just witnessed the beginning of the McElroy era.