Big Mac Has Big Performance: McElroy’s Play Creates Jets Quarterback Controversy
Added by Justin O'Connell on December 3, 2012.
After his performance on Sunday, does Greg McElroy deserve a chance to be the Jets starting QB? (Al Bello/Getty Images)
A New York team has not seen a quarterback controversy since Eli Manning’s rookie year with the Giants, but Greg McElroy has created one after only one quarter of play for the New York Jets. After doing what Sanchez could not do, win, not turn the ball over, and throw a touchdown, it looks like he may get another shot.
Even though Tim Tebow was medically cleared to play, Rex Ryan chose to sit him out and move McElroy up to the number two spot in the depth chart. With 4:38 left in the third, Ryan had to make a move to spark his team, and putting in McElroy did just that. On his first series he drove the team down the field 66 yards and ended it with a one yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland.
McElroy was a 7th round pick of the Jets in the 2011 draft and was not considered to be an NFL starting quarterback. He has a history of winning as he won the Texas 5A State Championship in high school and in college he won the National Championship in 2009 with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Rex Ryan was almost forced to bring McElroy into the game after the first two and a half quarters of play. This game set quarterbacking back a century or so as both Mark Sanchez (10/21, 97 yards, and 3 interceptions; 21.4 QBR) and Ryan Lindley (10/31, 72 yards, 1 interception; 28.0 QBR) could not hit water if they fell out of a boat. McElroy finished the game 5/7 for 29 yards, had 1 touchdown and a 118.5 quarterback rating. He only had 4 drives, but he was efficient in all but one. The first ended with a touchdown, the second ended with a fumbled by Kahlil Bell, the third was a three and out, and his last drive ended the game, but could of finished with a touchdown if Greene decided not to go down at the 1 yard line.
McElroy’s last drive might have been his most impressive, as he drove 71 yards down the field on 14 plays. The drive took up seven minutes and 55 seconds, so they never gave the Cardinals a chance to get the ball back.
“I really like the way he controlled the clock. He was smart, he knew how to handle [the] clock and that’s what he did. He did a tremendous job. I feel comfortable with Greg and I like some of the things he does,” Ryan said.
When asked if McElroy will start next week Ryan said, “I’ll let you guys know who is going to be the quarterback when I’m ready to, because right now we’re [going] to look at our situation and evaluate it as we go on.”
It looks like Rex may give McElroy a shot to start and hopefully turn the Jets season around. They have to win their next four games if they hope to even have a shot at making the playoffs. The Jets are hoping for a similar situation to the one they faced in 2002 when they started Chad Pennington over Vinny Testaverde and went on a late season run. McElroy is a lot like Pennington, and the Jets are hoping he can do what Pennington did.
“I’m a little nerdy, so pardon me if this comes across wrong. I think one of the things I really try to do and the one thing that Coach (Nick) Saban always tried to emphasize with me as I was a quarterback coming up in his system, just play the game by the numbers. I think just managing the game. I think it’s often overused to a certain extent, but it’s so important and it’s something that I take great pride in. It’s something that I would like to continue to try to do well,” McElroy said.