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Greg McElroy To Start For Jets As Rex Ryan Finally Decides To Bench Mark Sanchez

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 02: Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets celebrates throwing his first touchdown in the NFL to Jeff Cumberland #86 against the Arizona Cardinals during their game at at MetLife Stadium on December 2, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets won 7-6. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello, Getty Images

Jets coach Rex Ryan appears to have come to his senses about who should lead his team’s offense, but unfortunately for Gang Green, the change at quarterback has come as the Jets are officially out of the playoff picture.

Not that there is clear-cut solution to New York’s QB struggles, it’s apparent that the ‘O’ is malfunctioning in the hands of guy they used to call Sanchize, so Greg McElroy has been announced as the team’s starter this Sunday against San Diego, according to newyorkjets.com.

Ryan and company didn’t have much chance of the postseason entering Monday night’s game in Tennessee, but the 14-10 loss once again showcased a putrid offense that turned the ball over five times – four Sanchez interceptions and an ugly fumble with under two minutes remaining to seal the game – to seal the game and officially knock them out of a the playoff chase.

It’s not all the fault of No. 6. The team could offer him some protection in the pocket every once and a while, the Jets don’t have a solid receiving core (reaching into the scrap heap to sign Braylon Edwards last week), and Jeff Cumberland’s dropped touchdown pass in the first quarter of Monday’s loss was one of many those receivers have missed this season.

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 17: Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets walks off the field after a play in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 17, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons, Getty Images

But, Sanchez’s 2,678 passing yards ranks 24th in the league. He’s completed just 54.8% of his pass attempts, and he’s thrown more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (13).

Under his command, the offense has seemed out of sync this season – and most of last year, too – and while it isn’t all his doing, the USC product has thrown some awful picks. His fumbled shotgun snap to end the game in Week 15 just looked silly enough, but seemed a fitting end to his reign as starter.

It’s possible Sanchez gets another chance as the go to guy under center for the green and white, but I think the Jets and their fans have seen enough. The team’s back to back AFC Championship appearances seem like a decade ago, not two years ago.

I expect the inept offense, along with the rest of team’s overall struggles, will cost Rex his job.

You can’t keep promising championships, or playoff appearances, or big wins over the rival Patriots and not deliver without paying a price at some point.

If it was up to me, I’d trade Sanchez and either draft a new QB, or give it a run with McElroy, or maybe even Tebow.

Could it be any worse?

In McElroy’s lone appearance this year – coming off the bench to replace Sanchez in the second half – he was 5 of 7 for 29 yards and a one-yard TD toss which proved to the be game winner in the Jets’ 7-6 home win over the Cardinals.

Now that offense is in his hands, we’ll see how much Tony Sparano wants to open up the playbook and maybe provide some hope for Gang Green’s future.

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