Mark Sanchez Doesn't Deserve to Start over Greg McElroy for Jets in Week 14

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 02:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets stands on the sideline after he is pulled from the game in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals on December 2, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Jets defeated the Arizona Cardinals 7-6.(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez was awful Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals—10-of-21 for 97 yards and three interceptions—and was replaced in the game by backup Greg McElroy.

Sanchez’s performance was so bad against the tough Cardinals’ defense that the Jets shouldn’t even consider starting the fourth-year quarterback in Week 14 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

All hope for the Sanchize is gone.

When McElroy—a third-string QB that was only No. 2 on the depth chart because of a rib injury to true backup Tim Tebow—not only plays more efficiently than the franchise quarterback, but leads the team to a victory, the hope that the former first-round pick will blossom into a star is gone.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan told Ben Shipigel of the New York Times after the game about why he made the move to bench Sanchez in favor of McElroy and how the coaching staff will handle the QB situation:

It’s just something I sensed. When you’re around this game long enough, you get that feeling that, You know what? I’ve seen this long enough, and it’s time to make that change…We’ll evaluate our situation as the week goes on.

The Jets have given Sanchez countless opportunities to show that he is an elite player, but the young player just can’t take advantage of them.

While it is worth noting that the lack of star power around him has hurt his cause—season-ending injury to No. 1 wide receiver Santonio Holmes and a lack of depth across the board—there has been very few moments when Sanchez has helped anyone on the team look better.

It’s usually the role players around him stepping up to save the QB.

There is little question that Sanchez is the better all-around player than McElroy, but the lack of success from the quarterback position has the team divided. At least with the second-year star out of Alabama under center, New York reverts back to a more tough-nosed style of football.

Ryan must play this smart and leave McElroy in for one more week.

With an offensive re-dedicated to rushing the ball and allowing McElroy to manage the game, maybe Sanchez will learn a thing or two from the backup sitting on the sideline.

Or maybe this is all setting up for the glorious emergence of Tebow as the team’s new potential starter down the road…


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