EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Despite being sacked almost as often as he completed passes on Sunday, quarterback Greg McElroy will start the season finale against Buffalo, Jets head coach Rex Ryan said.
McElroy completed 14 of 24 passes for 185 yards with an interception, and was sacked 11 times in the Jets' home finale, a 27-17 loss to San Diego. It was McElroy's first NFL start.
"You hope you can go out there and have a better showing for our fans. For everybody. I think this team has worked really hard this year and this team has a lot of high-quality individuals and I'm really blessed to be a part of it," McElroy said. "Just want to keep improving and try to get better each week, and hopefully in Week 17 we can go out feeling good about what we accomplished this season."
Faced with pressure all game long, McElroy constantly was on the move and never got into a groove. The first series of the game foreshadowed what would be a trend on the day: On the second play, McElroy had to evade a sack to pick up a yard, and on third down the Chargers secured their first sack of the game.
While he didn't receive help from his offensive line, McElroy admitted to holding the ball too long and said he needed to do a better job of helping his teammates. He said he tried to escape from the rush but needed to be more aware of where the rush was coming from. San Diego knocked the ball loose from McElroy on one occasion late in the fourth quarter.
When McElroy did have time to throw, he missed on a lot of them, usually overthrowing his receivers. His longest throw of the day was a 30-yard dump-off pass to Shonn Greene that was mainly the work of a running back. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley managed to have the team's longest completion. McElroy had one interception after forcing a pass with the Jets down 24-14.
"We gotta do a better job of getting on the same page and doing a better job of anticipating things and just doing a better job of getting the ball out," McElroy said. "When there are plays to be made, you gotta make them, you can't miss throws. [I] missed too many throws today. Didn't have my feet set on a couple of throws and [that] led me to be a little inaccurate. Gotta do a better job and try to improve, learn from this, watch the film and then come back on Wednesday ready to work."
Even with those struggles, McElroy will get a chance to end the Jets' season with a win when the team takes on Buffalo, an opportunity he is looking forward to.
"The only thing I'm hoping to get out of this is continuous improvement. I want to continue to get better," McElroy said. "I want to learn from the mistakes made today and I want to learn and capitalize on the opportunities that were there today. I want to capitalize on those next week."
The OL was brutal today, but not all of the sacks can be blamed on them. There were a few times where Greg hung onto the ball way too long, as young QB's often do (Sanchez would have done the same - never changed - or would have thrown multiple INT's, so, whatever, give me the sacks).
Sanchez got 4 years of first team reps, coaching, and off-seasons to prove he couldn't be the QB we wanted him to be. McElroy deserves more than 1 game.
Yes, he held on to the ball too long, but he was playing for a dead team, with few weapons in his first NFL start. Understandable he would struggle in that situation. Let him play again next week and see if he learned from the experience.