Greg McElroy Will Replace Mark Sanchez as Jets' Starting QB in Week 16

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2012

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has finally pulled the plug on starting quarterback Mark Sanchez.

According to the team's official Twitter account, Sanchez will be replaced by backup quarterback Greg McElroy for the team's Week 16 matchup with the San Diego Chargers

#EA Greg McElroy has been named the Jets starting QB for Sunday’s game with the San Diego Chargers.

— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 18, 2012

The writing has been on the wall virtually all season for Sanchez as the starting quarterback. Ryan has refused to give up on the embattled signal-caller in recent weeks, but with the Jets eliminated from playoff contention following a disastrous performance on Monday Night Football, there's little reason not to hand McElroy the keys.  

For the season, Sanchez is completing just 54.8 percent of his passes for 2,678 yards, 13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. If that completion percentage holds for the rest of the season, it will be the third time in four years he has failed to break 55 percent. 

In addition, Sanchez has had four games this season where he has thrown at least two interceptions. The four-pick game against the Titans was his worst effort of the season, as he turned the ball over twice late in the game with the chance to take the lead. 

As the Jets look toward the future, McElroy's ascent may not be well received by fans of Gang Green. The one game he has played this season was a success—at least in the win column—but he has been given Sanchez's job ahead of Tim Tebow.

Fans have been clamoring for Sanchez to be benched, but Tebow is the quarterback they want to take his place. 

While McElroy is the less popular choice, Ryan is giving the Alabama product two weeks to show what he can do while the Jets assess their offseason strategy.