Chargers vs. Jets: Instant Grades, Analysis for New York
McElroy was beaten to the tune of 11 sacks, 3.5 of them at the hands of Kendall Reyes who had none coming into today's game.
The Jets were in the game for a while, but long touchdowns to Antonio Gates and Danario Alexander sealed the Jets' ugly fate.
OVERALL GAME GRADE: D
Greg McElroy has to get some benefit of the doubt as this was his first NFL start. However, he didn't show anything that would convince anyone he could be a quarterback of the future just yet.
McElroy was confused when his first option was covered and didn't progress naturally through his reads. The game simply looked like it moved too fast for him.
Not all of the eleven sacks against him were his fault, but a lot of them were. He was also careless with the football on an interception and late fumble.
McElroy was 14-of-24 for 184 yards and no touchdowns.
He'll get another shot next week to see if he can make some improvements.
FOURTH QUARTER: F
McElroy completed a could of nice passes to Clyde Gates and Braylon Edwards, but spent much of the fourth quarter on the ground. He had a nice 15-yard scramble, so there was that.
THIRD QUARTER: F
It was fine that Greg McElroy was managing the game well when the Jets were ahead 14-10, but he's going to have to start making plays now.
McElroy's interception to end the third quarter will seal the team's fate if the Chargers are able to punch it in for a touchdown.
McElroy has been abused to the tune of seven sacks, some of which are his fault.
SECOND QUARTER: C+
Well Greg McElroy hasn't lit up the stat sheet, but he has managed the team effectively to a 14-10 halftime lead. The sad thing is that this type of play likely would have been enough for the Jets to win last week against the Titans.
McElroy has continued to struggle to progress through his reads and looks confused when his first option is covered. It could also be that his second and third options are covered as well, but the confusion is palpable.
McElroy seems to be comfortable with his pre-snap reads though. He has audibled off his initial play call effectively on a number of occasions.
McElroy goes into the half 5-for-9 for 76 yards and no turnovers.
FIRST QUARTER: B
Greg McElroy has led the Jets on two touchdown drives on his three possessions, so there really should be nothing to complain about here.
He was helped by a big pass interference penalty and a 42-yard trick play on each drive, but the main point is that he got into the end zone twice.
McElroy looked confused at the start and seemed to panic when his first read wasn't open. He better get used to it because it doesn't seem like his receivers will be able to get separation all day.
McElroy showed nice field vision on his scramble down to the 1-yard-line as he recognized a hole on the backside of the offense at cut back nicely.
McElroy finished 3-for-5 for 53 yards.
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OVERALL GAME GRADE: F
The story of this game was the inexcusable 11 sacks allowed to an average Chargers defense. There's no way a team can overcome that, especially with a quarterback who is making his first NFL start.
FOURTH QUARTER: F
The Jets were somehow able to muster one drive that resulted in a field goal, but spent the rest of the quarter seemingly not caring one bit about the game.
THIRD QUARTER: F
This is a Wayne Hunter-like performance today from the entire offensive line.
The Chargers pass rush is mediocre at best and the line hasn't offered even a glimmer of protection.
The Jets simply don't have the kind of offense that can overcome even the slightest mistake, whether that's a sack or a penalty. Even a 2nd-and-15 was too tough for them to convert.
SECOND QUARTER: C+
The offense wasn't nearly as prolific in the second quarter as it was in the first. They have had trouble protecting McElroy all day against a decent Chargers pass rush. On Donald Butler's sack with 6:40 left in the half, Brandon Moore was thrown back as far as you'll ever seen him moved.
The Jets need to do a better job protecting McElroy and have to do something to get open for him on their pass routes. Tony Sparano is going to have to get creative, because the receivers will not get open on their own.
The smile on Hayden Smith's face when he made his first NFL catch to convert a 3rd-and-9 was priceless.
FIRST QUARTER: A-
The offense put 14 points on the board in the first quarter, which seems like a modern miracle after what they endured the past three weeks.
The unit was buoyed by big plays from Shonn Greene and a Clyde Gates.
The run-heavy offense had 13 running plays as compared to six passing plays.
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OVERALL GAME GRADE: C-
Overall the defense didn't play too badly, but they gave up big plays to Danario Alexander and Antonio Gates on touchdown receptions.
Antonio Cromartie, Darrin Walls and Eric Smith wear the goat horns for this unit.
Quinton Coples had 1.5 sacks as he continued his late-season surge. He now leads the Jets in sacks and tackles for a loss. Muhammad Wilkerson had a sack and another strong game as well.
FOURTH QUARTER: B
The Jets defense held the Chargers to a just one field goal in the fourth quarter, but it was too litlle, too late.
THIRD QUARTER: D
The Jets allowed two touchdowns, both on poor plays in the secondary.
Antonio Cromartie got lost trying to make a play on the ball in the air and Eric Smith looked like he couldn't cover Antonio Gates if he was standing still on both touchdowns.
Quinton Coples continues to make plays for this team as he teamed with Garret McIntyre for another sack.
Bart Scott also had a key sack on a 1st-and-10 for the Chargers inside Jets territory.
The Jets run defense was soft for much of the quarter as Jackie Battle and Ronnie Brown found plenty of running room throughout the quarter.
Darrin Walls committed a dumb holding penalty on a 3rd-and-17 to keep the Chargers' touchdown drive alive. He also dropped a sure interception earlier in the game.
SECOND QUARTER: A-
The Jets allowed the Chargers to keep the ball for close to seven minutes on a drive that resulted in a 51-yard field goal. The drive was kept alive by a personal foul penalty on Muhammad Wilkerson and poor coverage on a 4th-and-2 by Antonio Cromartie.
Aside from the one long drive, the defense did their job well once again.
FIRST QUARTER: A
Thanks to the Chargers punt return touchdown and three Jets offensive drives, the Jets defense didn't see much action in the first quarter.
The Jets forced a three-and-out on each of the Chargers first-quarter possessions.
Quinton Coples had the big play, sacking Philip Rivers at his own 1-yard-line.
Special Teams: C
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OVERALL GAME GRADE: C
In a new wrinkle, the Jets punt coverage was the worst of this unit today. They gave up the first-quarter touchdown to Michael Spurlock and then were victimized by a 21-yard return in the second half.
The failures in the punting game were not the fault of Robert Malone, who had six punts for 44.3 yards, including a long of 59-yards.
Nick Folk continued his strong season, converting a 40-yarder in the fourth quarter.
FOURTH QUARTER: B
Nick Folk's 40-yard field goal was the highlight and Joe McKnight had a nice kick return on his only attempt.
THIRD QUARTER: C-
Robert Malone continued his strong day punting. He put his first punt inside the 20-yard-line, the second time he's done that today on five punts.
Michael Spurlock set the Chargers up with field position in Jets territory on a nifty 21-yard punt return.
SECOND QUARTER: B
Robert Malone continued a strong day punting, highlighted by a 59-yarder in the second quarter. There wasn't much action from the specials otherwise.
FIRST QUARTER: D
The Jets allowed a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown to Michael Spurlock, the first punt return touchdown they've given up since 2003. The return snapped a streak of 149 games without allowing a punt return touchdown. It was the longest current streak in the NFL.
The actual punt itself was a good, 53-yarder by Robert Malone, the team just didn't cover it well.
Jeremy Kerley surprised everyone by actually returning a punt 21-yards instead of calling for a fair catch. He remains 2 fair catches away from setting an NFL record in that department.
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OVERALL GAME GRADE: C+
Aside from the first quarter, there wasn't much to complain about for much of the game. Sparano twice called for the Wildcat after completions by Greg McElroy, following a frustrating pattern he has shown all year.
Although Rex Ryan doesn't get involved in offensive play calling, he should have stepped in at some point this year and told Sparano to stop making that move when the quarterback is in a rhythm.
FOURTH QUARTER: C
Coaching didn't factor in anything during the fourth quarter, positively or negatively.
THIRD QUARTER: B-
We called for Tony Sparano to stay creative in the offense and he did, calling for another JeremyKerley pass out of the Wildcat once again. Even though he completed the pass for good yardage, it was called back due to a penalty on Brandon Moore.
Rex Ryan was faced with a 4th-and-1 and seemed like he wanted to go for it. CBS play-by-play man Marv Albert noted that they ultimately had to punt because the Jets didn't have the proper personnel ready to go for it. At least they didn't burn a timeout amid the confusion though.
SECOND QUARTER: B-
The Jets coaches fared better in the second quarter than they did in the first. Then again, there wasn't much for them to do. Tony Sparano's play calling was fine that quarter and Rex Ryan wasn't faced with any crucial decisions.
It will be on Sparano to get creative in the second half as the Jets will have a tough time sustaining any kind of traditional offense behind McElroy and a poor effort by the offensive line.
FIRST QUARTER: C-
I guess it takes Tony Sparano to have his back against the wall for him to be creative. His call on the Jeremy Kerley-to-Clyde Gates 42-yard pass out of the Wildcat fooled everyone.
Sparano still inexplicably removed Greg McElroy right after his first completion to a wide receiver. At least that answers the question of whether Sparano only did that to Mark Sanchez because he didn't like him.
Rex Ryan's challenge of the spot on a potential Greg McElroy touchdown run was a foolish one. Video replays showed the call was correct and the Jets got the ball inside the 1-yard-line anyway.