No, I’m not talking about Tim Tebow. He deserves a chance, too. But a lingering rib injury has unfortunately stolen his shot at the starting job away, at least for the time being. Instead, Greg McElroy‘s the guy I’m thinking of.
In one of the ugliest games I’ve witnessed in a long whole, McElroy was the Jets’ saving grace in a 7-6 win over the Cardinals. On the afternoon, Sanchez and Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindey did a huge disservice to the quarterback position, combining to complete just 38 percent of their passes and throwing four interceptions compared to just two scoring drives — both by Lindley. But McElroy was different.
He completed five of his seven passes, including the game’s winning (and only) touchdown. Ryan didn’t ask the second-year quarterback to do too much, nor did he expect much more than what a third-string quarterback was capable of. Yet McElroy delivered.
Let’s get things straight, though. McElroy was by no means Tom Brady on Sunday, and Jets fans certainly shouldn’t get their hopes too high. He’s still just a seventh-round pick with good instincts and average arm strength — think Chad Pennington, but maybe about five rows back and two seats to the right. But that doesn’t mean the kid doesn’t deserve a shot.
At this point, the Jets are a meager 5-7 and a long, long, long shot to even get back into the playoff conversation. Sanchez has had four seasons to prove himself, but a 55 completion percentage and a near one to one touchdown to interception ratio (67:64 in his career) just isn’t cutting it. So, why not take a look around and see what else you might have available?
Tebow may be an option when he’s healthy, and he at least deserves an opportunity, but McElroy deserves the chance now. He just led the Jets to a fourth-quarter comeback win — if you want to call it that — and energized the offense in a way that it has been few times this season.
Sure, Sanchez has thrown for 300-plus yards a few times and he has the most pure talent of any of these three, but at some point you just need to move on. An $8.5 million salary for next season is a sticking point, and if you jump ship now then there’s no turning back. But if three interceptions and a butt fumble aren’t enough to the turn the page, then nothing ever will be.
It’s not an easy decision, and it may not even be the right one. But at this point it’s really the only one the Jets have.
McElroy should get the start in Jacksonville on Sunday, and the book should be closed on the Mark Sanchez chapter in Jets history.
There will never be a right time, but now is as good as any. Make the move, Rex. It may just save your job.