Former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy made his NFL debut on Sunday for the New York Jets in his second season in the league. Jets head coach Rex Ryan elected to put McElroy in the game in the third quarter to replace a struggling Mark Sanchez, who had already thrown three interceptions.
Tim Tebow was inactive this week with a rib injury, so Greg McElroy was dressed out for the first time this season, and he got into the game due to Sanchez’s poor play to the roar of the crowd at MetLife Stadium.
McElroy entered the game with the Jets trailing the Cardinals 3-0 late in the third quarter, and immediately orchestrated a touchdown drive of 69 yards on 10 plays capped off by a one yard touchdown toss to Jeff Cumberland. It was McElroy’s first career touchdown pass, and it came on a boot leg from the goal-line as McElroy hit a wide open Cumberland in the endzone to give the Jets the lead.
McElroy also led another key drive at the end of the game to run out the clock and give the Jets the victory. That drive included a beautiful back shoulder throw to Jeremy Kerley on a critical 3rd-and-9 against Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.
For the game, McElroy finished 5-of-7 passing for 29 yards and a touchdown for a quarterback rating of 118.5.
The tabloids and papers in New York this week will be buzzing about McElroy’s performance as he came off the bench to win the game for the Jets, and it will be interesting to see if this performance leads to McElroy making his first career start next week against the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
The win moves the Jets to 5-7 with just a glimmer of hope left for the playoffs. That glimmer could be McElroy, who, with how Sanchez has been turning the ball over, could be just what the doctor ordered for Rex Ryan and company. The Jets could do much worse than a smart quarterback like McElroy who takes care of the football.
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