McElroy struggles in first start as Jets lose
Mercifully, the season is almost over for the Jets, who dropped to 6-9 with a 27-17 loss to the Chargers on Sunday afternoon. For the first time under head coach Rex Ryan, the Jets will have a losing record.
Based off what they showed this week, they full deserve that record.
What we learned …
1. McElroy’s first start
It was the beginning of the Greg McElroy era at quarterback for the Jets, even if the era lasts just two games. In his first NFL start, McElroy generally played the safe, smart football he showed three weeks ago in orchestrating the Jets’ only scoring drive in a 7-6 win over the Cardinals. Sunday was far from ideal for the second-year quarterback. He was 14-of-25 for 185 yards with an interception and a fumble lost. But given that he was sacked 11 times and hurried 16 times, perhaps his performance was excusable. He also led the Jets on three scoring drives, which isn’t bad considering the team was ranked No. 30 in total offense entering this game. Ryan said after the game he is sticking with McElroy this Sunday at Buffalo.
2. Greene gets going
After a slow start to the regular season, the Jets’ running game has turned around the past few weeks. Starting running back Shonn Greene had some positive plays, especially in the first quarter. Greene finished with 14 carries for 38 yards and two touchdown, but the ground game was hampered by the poor play of the offensive line. The good news for Greene is he was very effective catching the ball, with two receptions for 42 yards. For a player who had been criticized for his hands, it was a step in the right direction.
3. Plenty of give-up
The Jets have always prided themselves on being a tough team under Ryan, but they didn’t look like they wanted to play against the Chargers. There did seem to be hope early in the game as they raced out to a 14-7 first-quarter lead, despite being eliminated from a playoff spot last Monday night. Then, when the wheels came off, the whole team slumped their collective shoulders and seemed to give up, letting the Chargers roll off 20 points in the second half. Ryan has a mantra of “Play like a Jet.” This time around, “Jets” must mean “Just End the Season.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.