Monday Morning Quarterback: Week 16 Jets vs. Chargers


Dec 23, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy (14) celebrates his first down run during the first half of their game against the San Diego Chargers at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Greg McElroy lived out his dream yesterday, starting his first NFL game. All of the hard work culminated when he took the field yesterday. Well, I am not sure he expected his dream to turn out THAT way. To say that was tough to watch would be a gross understatement. Greg learned a bit about what it is like to be Mark Sanchez yesterday afternoon. Let’s talk about it.

Coming off the punt return TD in the first quarter, the Jets put together a nice drive. McElroy was fired up, when he scrambled to the one, but felt that he scored, he was pumped up calling for Rex to throw the challenge flag. One thing you have to give Greg credit for is he personality. Given the chance, there is no doubt he could lead a group of men. The call was upheld, but the Jets scored 2 plays later, capping a 7 play drive that tied the game at 7-7. They followed that up later in the quarter with another 7 play scoring drive, when Greg threw one up to Braylon Edwards who drew a pass interference in the endzone, setting the Jets up at the one. Two plays later, Shonn Greene scored his second TD of the quarter, and the Jets were up 14-7.

But, that was about all we heard from the Jets offense. The offensive line had the most brtual game it has had in quite some time. The running game could get nothing going, averaging 3 yards per carry on the day. Shonn Greene did rush for 2 early TDs, but he ended the day with 14 carries for 38 yards. We surprising didn’t see much of Bilal Powell, with 3 carries for -3 yards, and Joe McKnight only managed 1 carry for 7 yards.

And how did Greg McElroy do? Well, when he was not lying on his back he did OK. However, that didn’t happen very often, as he was sacked 11 TIMES! 11!!! Seriously?!?!? 11 sacks, and he was hit and hurried all day long. He had no chance to get a rhythm going, the fact that he was able to complete 14-24 passes for 185 yards and only throw 1 INT is a mystery in and of itself. The receivers basically weren’t getting open, and Greg McElroy was running for his life all game long.

Dec. 23, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Clyde Gates (19) and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (11) on the sidelines against the San Diego Chargers during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The most exciting play in the passing game did not include a regular quarterback. Jeremy Kerley was given the opportunity to run some “Wildcat” plays, and he made good on one early in the game. The Jets surprised EVERYONE by throwing out of the formation, as Kerley completed a 42 yard pass to Clyde Gates, setting up the Jets’ first touchdown. Throw was a little late and underthrown, but Gates made a nice adjustment on the ball to make the catch.

The above play was a rare gutsy call by Tony Sparano, but he retreated back to his ultra-conservative self later on. Around midway through the third quarter, the Jets had a 4th and 1 near midfield. They were only down 17-14 at the time, but still, the Jets elected to punt the football. The crowd let the Jets have it, and deservedly so. They were 6-8, why not go for it? Clearly, they had no trust in the offense, despite the fact that the Jets lead the league as the team that runs the football for no gain or a loss the fewest times in the league. No trust, and it was very telling there.

On defense, the Jets young defensive linemen came up with another huge game. Mo Wilkerson continued his “beast” like play with a pass defended and a sack. Quinton Coples spent some quality time in the Chargers backfield as well, recording 1.5 sacks on the afternoon. Even Bart Scott, who might have played his last home game with the Jets, recorded a sack.

So that’s it for this one. The Jets guaranteed their first losing season under coach Ryan, and look to play out the string next week against the Buffalo Bills. Tune back in later on for the report card.