Final Score: Cardinals 6 – Jets 7

mcelroy

Today the Jets learned some valuable lessons. Just because someone was on the top of the depth chart in May doesn’t mean anything come Sundays in the fall. Mark Sanchez is proving his decision-making is horrendous and that he’s incapable of playing at the level he’s been billed as. Mark Sanchez was removed after an abysmal performance in the first half that saw no great improvement in the second half. The Jets stadium did the right thing in shaming the Jets coaching staff into playing their backup — and just like that the Jets four year enabling relationship of their starting quarterback changed … even if just for a day …

The Rundown

10-21, 97 yards, 3 INT, 21.4 Rating
5-7, 29 yards, 1 TD, 118.5 Rating

One represents a four year veteran starter with playoff experience and one represents a second year player with extremely limited reps. Greg McElroy might not be the answer … but if the question is “can anyone stabilize this offense and NOT sabotage the unit at the quarterback spot?” then maybe he is the answer.

The Jets defense had 22 tackles. That’s the mark of a unit’s dominance. Now granted, they weren’t playing against any great QB. But still, the Jets defense wasn’t even on the field enough to rack up any of the “vanity stats” that people quickly look to like sacks and the like. Credit the Jets defense with hanging in while the Jets coaches pushed Mark Sanchez out of the way.

Nick Folk missed two kicks on the day, both off the bars. One was from 46 yards and the other was from 52. It was another rough day for the special teams unit.

The Jets running game came to play, racking up 177 yards mostly from Green and Powell. Powell continues to eat into Shonn Greene’s carry totals and is deserving the reps he’s getting. Powell still has a lot of work to do in the passing game, but he’s becoming a competent second running back and the Jets will carefully consider what his role should be going forward as they head into the offseason and Shonn Greene hits free agency in a likely cap-strapped year.

One more thing about Sanchez. It’s amazing to think that he only has 13 interceptions so far on the year, but don’t forget that he’s fumbled the ball seven times as well.

Remember when Rex Ryan’s big disciplinary move with Mark Sanchez was withholding a few measly snaps from him for Mark Brunell? That was about as “real” as Ryan has gotten with Sanchez in the tandem’s almost four years together … that is … until today. There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned kick in the ass, but Rex has seemed anathema to the concept in his time with the Jets and nowhere moreso than with his quarterback.

I said during the game that if Rex Ryan hadn’t benched Sanchez and the Jets then lost, that he would most assuredly have been fired this offseason. Why? Because it’s the callous disregard to motivating players by actually disciplining them. We get that Rex likes to be all buddy-buddy with his players, but if he can’t separate reality from his “belief” that Sanchez is great, then that’s called being delusional. Allowing Sanchez to think that nothing was wrong from such a miserable performance would have been an unforgivable sin. While their secondary is decent, the Cardinals are still a bad team and the fact that Mark Sanchez couldn’t get over on them is HORRIFYING. So … why has it taken basically four years for Ryan to hook his quarterback? And could this season have looked different if Rex doused him with cold water sooner?

As for next week, I don’t think that McElroy has earned himself the Divine Right of Starters from his performance, but I at least expect he’ll split some reps this week with Mark Sanchez.