Originally written on Turn On The Jets  |  Last updated 12/3/12
No game this entire season was as exciting as the 7-6 “thriller” was for us yesterday. The exit of a struggling QB and the entrance of an unblemished one, got us up off of our seat and screaming as if it were the 2009 or 2010 playoff runs all over again. Never mind that we were going hoarse over a few meager third and manageable completions. That came courtesy of a guy who had yet to throw an NFL pass. While trailing 3-0 late in the third quarter against an Arizona club drowning in the midst of its own seven game skid. This was about erasing the anger that grew to new heights in many of us, after Mark Sanchez met Brandon Moore’s derrière head on against the Pats ten days ago. Thank you Rex. Thank you Mac. Even if this game only served to change the taste in our mouths. Sometimes a cleaning of the palate is all that it takes to enjoy the taste of food again. “Even Keeled” McElroy Steals The Show Tim Tebow saw this one coming before anyone else did. A guaranteed Mark Sanchez meltdown was the very reason why Tebow became a Jet in March. How ironic it was then, that on the day both a winnable game was there for the taking and a Sanchez benching felt right, Rex Ryan turned to third stringer Greg McElroy for a spark. The former Alabama product being the only active backup available. McElroy did what any cool headed Wonderlic genius would do when asked to engineer one measly TD drive without a hiccup. He landed the Jets safely in the end zone. How far can McElroy take this undermanned Jets offense now? Only Ryan can give him the chance to find out. Regardless of who starts down the stretch, the reality that the Jets needed a change when Ryan made a call to the bullpen, was clear. Tony Sparano’s patched together group  had lost hope with Sanchez behind center. Probably a long time ago in fact. The embarrassing fumble on Thanksgiving into Brandon Moore symbolically serving as the final straw. The only way that Mark Sanchez can win back the trust of this team, provided he gets a second chance to now or in 2013,  is to change his emotional patterns. Maybe a seat on the sidelines for the first time in his pro career could help him do that. Holding onto feelings about mistakes at a position that requires an ultra short memory, is the quickest way to creating self made slumps. Ones that can last for quarters, games, and even entire seasons. McElroy said after the 7-6 win over the hapless Cards, that being “even keeled” was part of his skill set as a player. For a Ryan coached-team that seeks to win through its defense and ground attack, his is a trait that matters more than arm strength, physical strength and GQ looks do combined. McElroy Is Not The Only Kid Who Should Start And Play More Now Ryan has to start McElroy next week. Keeping the huddle as hopeful during the week as it was late against Arizona, is essential now. Ryan shouldn’t stop there either. Bilal Powell and Shonn Greene were effective Sunday. but it’s Powell who has that shake and bake in his game. Let him get more touches next week. Powell started strong then disappeared Sunday. Why? Use him more now Rex. He finds open space and the end zone as well. Powell has proven worthy of an expanded role. Stephen Hill, who shocked many with his catches let alone tough ones in traffic Sunday, deserves more throws his way now too. Maybe Hill can springboard off of the clutch grabs but Rex must give him the opportunity to while the memory of a solid game finally, is fresh in his mind. Gotta Go To Mo’s Second year Jet Mo Wilkerson has officially arrived. Of all the people that Ryan predicted would break out in 2012, and there were many, Wilkerson has been the one to do so. Sacks, pressures, run stops and a knack for rising to the task on third down is why the Jets defensive line may finally have a player to build around. It’s about time.
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