The New York Jets arenít good. But they are fun.
No, no, theyíre not fun if youíre a fan of the Jets ó I wouldnít wish the experience of being a fan of this team on anyone. Theyíre fun for fans of the NFLís other 31 teams because no matter what ridiculous thing happens with your team, you can say, At least weíre 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 Jetsí 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 Sanchezís 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 Jetsí 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 heís 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 donít think McElroy is any good, hereís the truth about Sanchez and Tebow: Both of them stink.
Thatís what makes the Jets so funny. This whole quarterback controversy is between two guys who arenít good quarterbacks, two guys who probably arenít 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 isnít the answer, either. There was a reason that NFL scouts watched him play at Alabama and didnít 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 Jetsí 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.