With the Greg McElroy era underway in New York, it was an up and down day for the second year gunslinger.
The New York Jets
running game Shonn Greene
scored the Jets only two touchdowns on the day, but the ground game gave Greg McElroy
little support and comfort. Gang Green amassed just 69 yards for the entire game. Early on McElroy and the offense looked sharp. This was a major deviation from the last few games when the Jets showed little offensive firepower in the first half. The San Diego Chargers
did not let the Jets hold on to an early 14-7 lead as they scored two touchdowns in the third quarter. After the dreadful third quarter the Jets could not rebound and were able to put one field goal on the board in the second half. The Jets eventually lost game the game 27-17 and fell to 6-9 on the season.
Late in the fourth quarter with the Jets down by 10-points, Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips
ripped through Jets offensive tackle Austin Howard
for the strip sack on McElroy. Phillips knocked the ball out of McElroy's hands and quickly fell on it. The Jets offensive line did not give their second year quarterback any time in the pocket during his first career sack and he was sacked an NFL season high 11 times. The 11 sacks the Jets gave up were the most the franchise has given up in a game since the 1987 season when David Norrie was the quarterback against the Dallas Cowboys
. Phillips sacked McElroy 2.5 times, which gives him a team high 9.5 sacks on the season. Any hope of a comeback was demolished after that fumble and the Jets eventually lost the game.
"I need to do a better job getting the ball out," admitted McElroy following the loss. "I have to do a better job of getting on the same page as the wide receivers and be able to anticipate some more throws. Just got to continue in trying to improve. We learned a lot today and obviously this incredibly disappointing loss. Everyone is very disappointed, the locker room is pretty down, but we understand where we need to improve, we understand what we need to do. I can promise you we are going to be working our butts off trying to get better throughout this last week."
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
. Jeremy Kerley
, who is usually running slant routes for the Jets, took snaps under center against the Chargers. Kerley is the perfect candidate run a Wildcat structured offense, but he was called upon to throw the ball on Sunday and completed a 42 yard pass to Clyde Gates. McElroy did not play terrible for the Jets. If McElroy wasn't under constant pressure he may have found some open Jets receivers. McElroy finished the day 14-24 for 185 yards. The Jets improved on turnovers this week, they had two turnovers compared to the five they had last week. Still, that was two more than the Chargers had and McElroy threw his lone interception in the third quarter when the Jets desperately needed a score.
The Jets have officially crashed and burned this season. Let's see if they have fuel left in the tank for one more game against the Buffalo Bills
. Luckily for the Jets the matchup Sunday against the Chargers and next week in Buffalo are meaningless games. The Chargers defense did not give McElroy an early start to the holiday season as the young quarterback took a beating all afternoon long.
Quarterback Phillip Rivers threw for two touchdown passes in the win. Greene ran for two touchdowns for the Jets, but only had 38 yards on 14 carries. The Jets scored their only two touchdowns in the first quarter and were silenced for the rest of the game. The Jets had both Sanchez and Tebow on the bench holding clipboards the whole game. McElroy has been named the starter of next week's game in Buffalo. Both Sanchez and Tebow have been rumored not return next season.
Tebow is believed to be on his way to Jacksonville next season to play for the Jaguars. New York will be playing one of the worst defenses in the NFL next week and that gives McElroy a chance to gain some confidence as a starting quarterback. The defense for the Jets will have to watch out for C.J. Spiller
who has had a breakout season with over a thousand yards rushing, including 138 on the ground on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins
. This week's game will decide who finishes in last place in the AFC East. If the Jets lose against the Bills they may be looking at a top 10 draft pick in the April's draft.