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NFL morning after: Oh, those crazy Jets

Arizona Cardinals v New York Jets Getty Images

The New York Jets aren’t good. But they are fun.

No, no, they’re not fun if you’re a fan of the Jets — I wouldn’t wish the experience of being a fan of this team on anyone. They’re fun for fans of the NFL’s other 31 teams because no matter what ridiculous thing happens with your team, you can say, At least we’re not the Jets.

Think about it: There are two 11-1 teams in the NFL right now, the Texans and the Falcons, and neither one of them has garnered as much media attention as the 5-7 Jets. Most of that media attention has been about what a clown show the Jets’ quarterback situation is, with Mark Sanchez struggling through another mediocre year and the much-hyped arrival of Tim Tebow turning into a big nothingburger. And then on Sunday, after Sanchez had completed just 10 of his 21 passes for 97 yards, with no touchdowns and three interceptions, Jets coach Rex Ryan finally decided he had seen enough of Sanchez’s poor play. Except that Tebow was out of the game with broken ribs. So Ryan had no choice but to put in third-string quarterback Greg McElroy.

And then McElroy proceeded to march the Jets down the field and for the only touchdown of the game, leading the Jets to a 7-6 win over the Cardinals. And just like that, a third name was added to the Jets’ quarterback circus.

On the 53-man rosters of the two teams playing on Sunday, there were six quarterbacks: Sanchez, Tebow and McElroy for the Jets, and Ryan Lindley, Kevin Kolb and John Skelton for the Cardinals. McElroy is the only one of the six who had never started an NFL game before, but he’s probably the best quarterback on either team.

Yes, I do think McElroy is the best quarterback on the Jets. Ryan was noncommittal after the game about whether McElroy would start next week, but the Jets might as well give him a full week of practice with the first-string offense and see what he can do in their next game, Sunday at Jacksonville. Because even if you don’t think McElroy is any good, here’s the truth about Sanchez and Tebow: Both of them stink.

That’s what makes the Jets so funny. This whole quarterback controversy is between two guys who aren’t good quarterbacks, two guys who probably aren’t any better than McElroy, a former seventh-round draft pick out of Alabama who until he took the field in place of Sanchez on Sunday had never played in an NFL game.

And McElroy probably isn’t the answer, either. There was a reason that NFL scouts watched him play at Alabama and didn’t think he was a high pick, and there was a reason that the Jets never bothered to put him on the field until Sunday. But McElroy should get the opportunity to prove himself.

Of course, for the Jets, the worst-case scenario might be McElroy playing just well enough down the stretch, against a soft schedule (all four of the Jets’ remaining opponents have losing records), to make people think he deserves to compete for the starting quarterback position next year. Because the only thing crazier than the mess the quarterback situation was this year would be a three-way quarterback battle with McElroy, Sanchez and Tebow next year. But while Jets fans would probably prefer not to have another quarterback controversy, it would give the rest of us a good laugh.

Here are my other thoughts on Sunday in the NFL:

The Chiefs did an amazing thing. A day after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself in front of coaches and team officials, the Chiefs somehow managed to play — and win — a football game. Romeo Crennel — who witnessed Belcher’s suicide — somehow managed to pull his team together for Sunday’s game. Jamaal Charles — whose wife is the cousin of Kasandra Perkins, the girlfriend Belcher killed — somehow managed to gain 127 yards on Sunday. Crennel called playing football “the best thing we could do, if for no other reason it takes our minds off our misery for a few hours.”

Peyton Manning had the best four-yard completion in NFL history. In the funniest play of the day, Manning was rolling to his right on third-and-1 and not finding anyone open. But just as he was about to get pushed out of bounds by Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David, Manning saw that running back Knowshon Moreno had been knocked to the ground and was just lying there. So Manning threw the ball right into Moreno’s breadbasket, and although Moreno didn’t even see the ball coming, he did manage to hold onto it for a four-yard gain and a first down. Even the hard-nosed Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano was chuckling on the sideline at the way Manning had just picked up a first down against his team.

Tom Brady gets division title No. 10: Brady is the first player in NFL history to be the quarterback for 10 division-winning teams, after the Patriots clinched the AFC East on Sunday. Brady is ahead of Peyton Manning (who won eight division titles with the Colts and clinched the ninth division title of his career when the Broncos won the AFC West on Sunday) and Joe Montana (who won eight division titles with the 49ers and added a ninth with the Chiefs) as the quarterback with the most division titles.

Megatron keeps going. The Lions are having a disappointing season, but Calvin Johnson is having a phenomenal season. He’s on pace to break Jerry Rice’s all-time single-season record of 1,848 receiving yards, and on Sunday he became the first player in NFL history to gain at least 140 receiving yards in four consecutive weeks. Johnson had an absolutely incredible one-handed catch on a deep ball along the right sideline, a great catch that came so easily for Johnson that he never even bothered to put his left hand on the ball, even when he was securing it as he was tackled. It doesn’t get any better than Megatron at the receiver position.

Adrian Peterson is keeping pace with Emmitt Smith. Peterson ran for 210 yards on Sunday, putting him over 8,000 rushing yards in his career, in the 85th game of his career. Likewise, Smith went over 8,000 yards in his career in the 85th game of his career. I have no idea if Peterson will have the longevity of Smith, but it’s remarkable that Peterson — who is having the best season of his career — is keeping pace with the NFL’s all-time rushing leader.

Aldon Smith moves ahead of Reggie White. Smith, the 49ers’ outstanding second-year pass rusher, had a sack on Sunday to give him 31.5 so far in his two-year career. That’s the most sacks that any player has ever had in the first two years of his career, surpassing White, the Hall of Famer who had 31 sacks in the first two years of his career.

Andrew Luck commands an offense like a 15-year veteran. The poise that Luck showed in throwing two touchdown passes in the final three minutes of Sunday’s 35-33 win in Detroit was stunning. By drafting Peyton Manning in 1998 and Luck this year, the Colts have set themselves up to have a quarter-century or so of superb quarterback play. Think how jealous Jets fans must be.

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39 Responses to “NFL morning after: Oh, those crazy Jets”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 3, 2012 6:56 AM

    The Rookie of the year award is between Robert Griffin and Alfred Morris with Janoris Jenkins and Russell Wilson as distant 3/4 candidates.

    The Baltimore Ravens are embarrassing and don’t represent the state of Maryland. How sad to lose to Charlie Batch in 2012…imagine what RGIII and Co. will do to that sad team next week. Speaking of the Redskins, tonight officially begins the run to the Superbowl for the Burgundy and Gold. No one in the NFC is better and we are learning this every Sunday that comes and goes. Redskins win tonight 48-21.

  2. nesuperfan says: Dec 3, 2012 7:14 AM

    The writer says, “Yes, I do think McElroy is the best quarterback on the Jets”, like we would not agree with him. Most people would agree.

  3. nesuperfan says: Dec 3, 2012 7:18 AM

    That was a great final drive by Luck, but I was equally impressed by how fast the rest of his team would run up to the line so he could spike the ball. Far too often lately, you see teams trot up to the line, wasting valuable seconds.

  4. mataug says: Dec 3, 2012 7:24 AM

    smh at the Colts’ luck lol

  5. bucfan7911 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:31 AM

    That Manning play was funny.

    The Jets are awful and to see Rex Ryan all happy after that dismal game, barely beating Arizona, playing one of the worst games youll ever see, there is nothing to be all smiles about. He was going around congratulating his team, shaking their hands smiling. I really want Rex to succeed, but win/lose, that game yesterday was disgusting and nothing to be gleeful of.

  6. FinFan68 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:33 AM

    The Tebow issue is funny. While I do not think he has the skills to be an elite QB I believe he has what it takes to help his teams win. Maybe a position change is needed for him to get on the field again.

    Since his high school days Tebow has never been good in practice. Not HS, not at Florida, not with the Broncos and not with the Jets. Everybody knows this yet it is practice performance that drives the decision to keep him off the field. The kid is a winner and a “gamer” and has proven it at every level. He was horrible in practice for the Broncos and Elway gave him the starting job for a season he viewed as lost. Tebow threw badly but the Broncos won. They kept winning and you could see that Elway was glad they were winning but disappointed that Tebow didn’t play bad enough to get rid of him (without fan uproar). Making the playoffs and beating the Steelers was bad news for Elway. (If you don’t believe me just look at the videos of his reactions and facial expressions as the team was winning) That is why Denver had to get Manning. It was the ONLY scenario Elway could get rid of Tebow and not anger Bronco fans.

    The Jets now have the same problem…except for the part about winning.

  7. clownsfan says: Dec 3, 2012 7:38 AM

    Sanchez isn’t bad. A change of scenery & a little coaching up is all this kid needs to get back in track. Seriously.

  8. dkrauss93 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:40 AM

    Did the Jets actually win? I don’t think so. Lindley just plain out sucks and the cards lost. I give both D’s credit for playing a well but that’s as far as I’m gonna go.
    – Jet fan

  9. dg0122 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:50 AM

    Aldon Smith is having an awsome yeat no doubt but JJ Watt is having the most impressive year of any defensive player. He gets pressure (and sacks) from the inside, tips balls that often get picked, and is a force against the run. Defensive POY.

  10. absolutekind says: Dec 3, 2012 7:52 AM

    The difference between a good coach and a great coach is knowing when to move-on from a player and/or staff. Rex is about a month behind on pulling Sanchez. The reason why Rex is not a great coach.

  11. cuda1234 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:54 AM

    Wow, another story about how there are too many story about Tebow and the Jets. LOL.

  12. cuda1234 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:57 AM

    FinsFan68 says that “Tebow is a winner…who has proven it at every level”

    Seriously? How is Tebow a winner at the NFL level? He’s been in the league three years and played on three losing teams. He’s been third string most of the time. The Broncos started 1-5 last year with Orton and finished last year 1-5 with Tebow, who had one of the worst statistical qb seasons in NFL history.

    So please, PLEASE, please, give me the fact-based defense of this “Timmy’s a winner” argument. Please. I am dying to hear it.

  13. cuda1234 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:59 AM

    ps. As a starter at Florida, Tebow won ONE (1) SEC championship, which is hardly impressive and doesn’t support the “winner” argument at that level, either.

  14. pftfannum1 says: Dec 3, 2012 8:10 AM

    It will be even funnier for the QB situation in NY if McElroy starts next week. If the Patriots are notorious for harassing rookie QB, the Jags are known for making their opponents’ rookie QBs superstars. The superstar McElroy then might earn the starting QB status…

  15. santolonius says: Dec 3, 2012 8:36 AM

    i’m not a big tebow fan. but i would like to see what he can do given a few starts with the jets. seems to me he has earned the chance. he’ll probably be mediocre, but it would be nice to know, and not have to speculate.

  16. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Dec 3, 2012 9:03 AM

    dg0122 says:
    Dec 3, 2012 7:50 AM
    Aldon Smith is having an awsome yeat no doubt but JJ Watt is having the most impressive year of any defensive player. He gets pressure (and sacks) from the inside, tips balls that often get picked, and is a force against the run. Defensive POY.
    ———-
    You might want to look at what Von Miller is doing in Denver.

  17. pitchforkandortorch says: Dec 3, 2012 9:03 AM

    so really, you think that the people who write about the team in the ny press are crazy, not the team, since no one on the team every truly considered tebow a viable QB. remember, his position is “punt protector”, which has resulted in excellent fake punts and field position advantage on plays when teams were playing for the fake punt.

    sanchez is a better talent than mcelroy, but sanchez just can’t handle new york. his problems are mostly psychological, boiling down to fear and lack of confidence. in 2009 and 2010, sanchez was incredibly effective running a two minute drive–quick, decisive, creative, tough, accurate. to me that is the best gauge of true ability–the rest is just mental ability to handle the pressure.

  18. bubba99m says: Dec 3, 2012 9:04 AM

    Here are some stats for Mr. please, PLEASE, please to chew on as requested. I will compare Tebow to Brett Favre because they have the most similar style of play and bring the same intangibles to the table. Both QB’s also played the same number of games (33) during their first three years and both played on (two each) similar teams. In every important statistical category Tebow was the better player. Here are the numbers: Games BF 33, TT 33, Completion % BF 60, TT 60, Sacks BF 65, TT 40, Touchdown/Interception ratio BF 27/37, TT 17/9, Fumbles BF 26, TT14, QB Rating BF 0/85/72, TT 82/73/90. In the one category they appear equal, I took the liberty of rounding the QB ratings to nearest whole number for each year, and I gave BF a free pass on making no completions in his rookie year when determining completion percentages. Therefor, advantage Tebow. The fumble and sack stats are important because they indicate that Tebow has been elusive and mobile enough to avoid them while playing on teams with less talent on the OL. If I recall, Favre had a pretty decent career as he progressed, mostly because he had the “intagibles” that made him a WINNER. Tim Tebow is no less quirky than Brett Favre. I’m not suggesting Tim’s career will continue along the same path; just pointing out a few facts for the FinFan. I am not a Tebow fan per-se but he is likeable, talented and coachable, so lets see how the next three years go before burrying him.

  19. moneey31 says: Dec 3, 2012 9:07 AM

    cuda1234 says:
    Dec 3, 2012 7:59 AM
    ps. As a starter at Florida, Tebow won ONE (1) SEC championship, which is hardly impressive and doesn’t support the “winner” argument at that level, either.
    ____________________________________

    You my friend are a Tebow hater. To harp on his professional skills is one thing, but to try to deprive him of his college accolades is ridiculous. Maybe he did only win the SEC once, but he has 2 National Championships. He may be the best college quarterback of all time, although he wasn’t a traditional quarterback. Professionally speaking, I think you don’t bring this guy into the organization as a backup quarterback, if your not going to give him a chance to play when your starter CLEARLY isn’t getting the job done. You cannot take away his playoff win against the Steelers last year. Yes Denver had a defense, but was that same defense winning games before Tebow became the quarterback? NO!. That defense with Orton at quarterback won few games. Tebow is not a great quarterback, but with his intangibles he can be a successful quarterback on a run first team with a defense. Not saying he can play in an offense like the Saint’s or Packers, but with quarterback’s like Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert, and Brady Quinn starting, there is room for Tebow!

  20. richwizl says: Dec 3, 2012 9:07 AM

    Tom Brady: 13 year veteran and still playing like it’s the biggest thrill of his life. Nice accomplishment, Tom.

  21. pitchforkandortorch says: Dec 3, 2012 9:21 AM

    I love watching Brady shrink when it counts.

  22. nesportsfan0428 says: Dec 3, 2012 9:42 AM

    Man, that Chief’s story just keeps getting more sad. I didn’t know Crennell witnessed the suicide. Thats a horrible thing to see, especially someone you spent time with.

  23. kenstabler says: Dec 3, 2012 9:44 AM

    Tom Brady was a sixth round pick, so goes your idea about great scouting.

  24. pisano says: Dec 3, 2012 9:47 AM

    After yesterday’s game it’s simple, Tebow has to go, Sanchez probably can’t be traded, so make him the back up to McElroy until after the season, and try to get rid of both Sanchez and Tebow. Why the Jets ever brought Tebow in is beyond understanding, but it didn’t work, and Sanchez is not a capable NFL starting QB, plain and simple.

  25. zerole00 says: Dec 3, 2012 10:14 AM

    I just watched the video of Manning’s pass to Moreno and I think Moreno deserves more credit. He clearly reached out and grabbed the ball with his right arm. Props to both of them!

  26. tombradyswig says: Dec 3, 2012 10:22 AM

    tom brady was a late round pick too…. guess the SCOUTS didn’t see what he was capable of in NFL games!
    Just sayn, go greg mcelroy! yes, sancheese sucks!!
    4th pick in the draft right?!?!? good job, SCOUTS!

  27. jonasgrumbyoftx says: Dec 3, 2012 10:40 AM

    Two words that will ultimately solve all of the Jets problems after the season is over:

    Clean house.

  28. juliodamfoolio says: Dec 3, 2012 10:43 AM

    “This whole quarterback controversy is between two guys who aren’t good quarterbacks, two guys who probably aren’t any better than McElroy…”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    McElroy should get the rest of the starts until (maybe even after) Tebow is healthy. How do we know he’s not any good? When Tebow was brought in there was no way he was going to be 3rd string, he was automatically 2nd and McElroy next. Give the kid a chance – he deserves it after being forced to be on this side show of a team.

  29. cxring says: Dec 3, 2012 10:52 AM

    How can Smith say Tebow stinks when the guy hasn’t even been given a chance to start. This writer is already on the next band wagon.

  30. imthedudedude says: Dec 3, 2012 10:52 AM

    What about the fans of the cardinals?!? Haha how do they feel?? This sideshow circus act just beat you by the baseball score of 7-6. Coach Wiz is trying to lose games now, it’s obvious, who leaves a QB in there while he’s struggling like that? Patrick Peterson would have done better back there. The sad thing is, with that defense, this team could be a division winner if they had a halfway decent QB, feel bad for Fitz.

  31. realitypolice says: Dec 3, 2012 11:17 AM

    I’ve been saying on here for months that McElroy was the best QB on the roster. Sanchez was #1 because he was a high first round pick and thus was never subject to an actual QB competition in camp.

    Tebow was only #2 because of a) the hype surrounding his acquisition and b) the fact that you only activate your top 2 and they wanted Tebow for the wildcat.

    And seriously, please stop with the “Tebow is a winner” nonsense. The exact same team that got blown out by Detroit, BUFFALO, and New England (twice) last year, and needed defensive miracles to barely beat terrible teams last year with Tebow at QB are now the second best team in the AFC without him.

    He’s a myth. He’s a college QB whose game doesn’t translate. Like I said yesterday, if he wants to still be in the league in two years, he better stop trying to learn how to throw the ball and start learning how to catch it.

  32. cuda1234 says: Dec 3, 2012 11:22 AM

    Hey moneey31 –

    I love how you guys give Timmy credit for the national championship he got as a freshman backup to MVP QB Chris Leak but don’t give him any credit for all the losses he’s piled up as a backup in the NFL. Either the bench stats count or they don’t. Make up your mind.

    I also love how you guys keep talking about the playoff win over Pittsburgh but never mention the playoff loss to NE a week later. Either they both count or neither do. Make up your mind.

    I love how you guys talk about the Broncos winning streak last year but fail to mention they backed into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak and without a winning record. Either you look at the records or you don’t. Make up your mind.

    And I love the Brett Favre comparison. If you really want to pull numbers compare Timmy’s three years at UF to Rex Grossman’s. They are almost identical so by your logic Grossman is also the greatest qb in NCAA history? And we all know that Timmy’s NFL career won’t come close to Grossman’s. That’s right, I said it, Tim Tebow will never be the qb Rex Grossman is.

    I don’t hate Timmy, I just hate the hype and you guys who refuse to deal in reality.

  33. baloneyjohn says: Dec 3, 2012 11:27 AM

    Kenny Wesienheimer deserves to go.
    NYC is a joke and the Jets are appropriate for that dump.

  34. steelerben says: Dec 3, 2012 1:39 PM

    Remember when the Jets had Shaun Hill lined up as a back up? And then they brought in Tebow and shipped him out? That was a smart move. No way you’d want a QB that had real experience winning football games with the Lions so that you can bring the circus to town.

  35. cmdrsmooth says: Dec 3, 2012 1:48 PM

    McElroy proved it in the preseason he was better than the two. The pressure to ignore McElroy’s leadership and skills is mind boggling. Don’t care if he was packing groceries a week ago. Give the kid a chance.

    Don’t feel that a big contract is the only reason to start a QB. Go McElroy!

  36. jl9830 says: Dec 3, 2012 1:53 PM

    Sanchez is no Tom Brady, but it’s got to be hard competing with Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, and Chaz Schilens as your WR’s, and Shonn Greene as your feature RB.

    Sanchez isn’t a good QB, but the Jets set him up to fail this season. He’s got nothing around him.

  37. rabidbillsfan says: Dec 3, 2012 1:58 PM

    Did somebody seriously compare Tebow to Brett Favre? Seriously? You should have your NFL privileges revoked. Same style of Play? Favre isn’t an option QB, and he wasn’t built like a FB and still didn’t miss a game until he was 100 years old. You make these stats sound similar when they no way represent the 2 players. Tebow has ATTEMPTED 360 passes in the NFL, Favre had 100 more in his first season as a GB QB, a shortened season. Favre threw for 1,000 more yards in that season than Tebow has in his career. Do not disgrace an NFL legend by comparing him to Tim Tebow, I honestly cannot believe I even had to explain that. This love fest has gone on long enough, he is a terrible QB and we will never know what type of Football player he is because nonsensical fans like yourself pollute the water and fuel the hype machine. Here’s some more cold water, Tebow is regarded as one of the best college PLAYERS of all time, he doesn’t even rank top-20 as far as QB’s go. It is only fitting that Tebow lose a shot at the starting job to the man that ruined his senior season and made him ball like a little girl on the sidelines. Mcelroy is just as much of a winner as Tebow. I guess AJ McCarron will be a #1 overall pick after he wins his SECOND National title, right? By your logic, Blaine Gabbert is Jhonny U. Ponder is Joe Montana and Sanchez is Terry Bradshaw. Cuda is right on, that playoff win is more about D. Thomas than Tim Tebow, and then to follow that up with a drubbing by NE isn’t really a great argument.

  38. delius1967 says: Dec 3, 2012 2:27 PM

    On Brady’s 10th divisional title: there’s no doubt Brady is an all-time great quarterback. However, with the exception of the Patriots, the AFC East has to be the longest-running perfect storm of awfulness in the history of the NFL. It’s a lot easier to win 10 division titles when you are virtually guaranteed 5-6 wins a year by playing the Dolphins, Bills, and Jets twice.

    When was the last time any of these teams had a credible/elite quarterback, running back, or wide receiver, let alone more than one at a time? I looked back through the last six seasons or so for each team. The drought at these three key positions for all three three teams is almost incredible. The best QB for any of them during that time? Probably Favre, during his one season in New York. The best running back? Ricky Williams. The best wide receiver? Couldn’t even tell you. Brandon Marshall, maybe?

  39. patsfan22 says: Dec 3, 2012 4:49 PM

    On Brady’s 10th divisional title: there’s no doubt Brady is an all-time great quarterback. However, with the exception of the Patriots, the AFC East has to be the longest-running perfect storm of awfulness in the history of the NFL. It’s a lot easier to win 10 division titles when you are virtually guaranteed 5-6 wins a year by playing the Dolphins, Bills, and Jets twice.

    When was the last time any of these teams had a credible/elite quarterback, running back, or wide receiver, let alone more than one at a time? I looked back through the last six seasons or so for each team. The drought at these three key positions for all three three teams is almost incredible. The best QB for any of them during that time? Probably Favre, during his one season in New York. The best running back? Ricky Williams. The best wide receiver? Couldn’t even tell you. Brandon Marshall, maybe?

    ————————————————–

    No real elite quarterbacks other than Farve (although Pennington was pretty good). Running back on the other hand: CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson and Reggie Bush aren’t too shabby. In 2009/2010 the Jets had the best rushing attack in the league with Thomas Jones too. For wide receivers I would agree with you and say Brandon Marshall although Santonio Holmes is pretty good when he wants to play.

    The only thing these three teams needed to be competitive in the recent past was an elite QB, just like a lot of teams. But there is always a dearth of them in the league, otherwise they wouldn’t be called elite.

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