The struggling New York Jets needed a spark and they got it when Rex Ryan finally did what he should have done weeks ago, as he benched QB Mark Sanchez and replaced him with QB Greg McElroy. The move paid off instantly when McElroy led the Gang Green to the game winning score on the first possession of his NFL career. He didn't put up impressive numbers, finishing the game 5 of 7 for 29 yards, 1 TD, but his arrival reenergized the seemingly lifeless team and put the fans back into the game.
Mark Sanchez, on the other hand, looked miserable once again. His first pass resulted in an interception and he added two more picks as the game progressed. He was 10 of 21, failing to crack the 50% mark again, for 97 yards, 0 TD and 3 INT. Sanchez was getting booed in and out of every series and in the third quarter Rex Ryan had finally seen enough of his first round bust.
As soon as McElroy took over, the Jets went on a 69-yard drive, their longest up to that point, which culminated in a 1-yard touchdown pass to TE Jeff Cumberland. Later in the fourth quarter, he converted a crucial 3rd and 9 to WR Jeremy Kerley, leaving the Cards almost no chance for a comeback. The Jets could have scored another touchdown in the final two minutes but RB Shonn Greene wisely downed the ball on Arizona's 1-yard line, so the Gang Green could just run the clock out.
Greene quietly had a pretty good game, as he rushed for 104 yards on 24 carries. RB Bilal Powell added 58 yards on 12 carries. WR Stephen Hill had his best game since the season opener - 5 catches for 40 yards.
The defense held the Cardinals to just 137 total yards and a stunning 0 of 15 on third downs. Although these numbers could be mostly attributed to the awful Cardinals' quarterback, who looked just as bad, if not worse, than Mark Sanchez.
Is the Sanchez's era officially over? We'll find out next Sunday when the Jets travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars (2-10). The early line has the Jets favored by 2.5 points. In any case, this definitely was the beginning of the end for Sanchez, who had never been benched in his Jets career. Is McElroy the answer? He seems to be like another Chad Pennington with an ever weaker arm. At this point, however, he gives the Jets the best chance to win games, as mentally fragile Mark Sanchez is as good as done.