New York Jets: Greg McElroy Doesn't Appear to Be the Answer at Quarterback

Andrew Kaufman@akaufman23Senior Analyst IDecember 23, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets loses the ball in front of Kendall Reyes #91 of the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky /Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Nobody's career should be determined by one game, but at first glance it doesn't appear that Greg McElroy is the Jets' quarterback of the future, or even a worthy stopgap.

Rex Ryan is right to give McElroy another chance next Sunday against Buffalo, as the Jets have nothing to lose and they might as well learn more about him, but McElroy did not display too many NFL-caliber skills this week against the Chargers.

McElroy can manage a game decently, as he did he good job going through his progressions, did not take too many risks and proved rather mobile. But he also was unable to make plays down the field or fit the ball into tight windows, and as a result, the Jets made little effort to attack the San Diego defense.

His passing numbers were satisfactory enough, but the most glaring statistic in Sunday's box score was the 11 sacks the Jets allowed. New York's offensive line has had better days, but by no means were they responsible for a majority of these sacks.

Instead, McElroy's conservative approach and apparent lack of confidence in his own arm led to several of the sacks, as the Jets quarterback simply covered up and took the hit if he didn't like the throws available to him.

After enduring Mark Sanchez's five turnovers against the Titans, there is certainly something to be said for a quarterback who knows when to take risks. But that is not the same thing as either being unwilling or unable to give your receivers the chance to make plays.

It is of course possible that McElroy improves, but his performance against the Chargers helps to explain why he lasted until the seventh round in last year's draft, why Rex Ryan was so reluctant to give him an opportunity until now and why Ryan didn't open up the playbook at all when turning to McElroy against the Cardinals.

If McElroy simply does not have an NFL-caliber arm, it will be very difficult for him to become an adequate starting quarterback in the league. It appears the Jets already know this, and at this point it may be unlikely that he will truly figure into Gang Green's quarterback equation in 2013.