Greg McElroy got his first NFL start and probably couldn’t wait for it to be over as the San Diego Chargers sacked McElroy 11 times. The offensive line was a problem for the New York Jets coming into the season and it was clearly evident in this game that the Jets will need to add some new faces to their starting front five.
Heading into this season, the Jets did almost nothing to address their offensive line woes. They went into the preseason with Wayne Hunter, who looked more like an E-Z Pass lane on the Garden State Parkway than an offensive lineman. They then traded for Jeff Otah before that deal fell through and then settled on another first-round disappointment in Jason Smith.
The Jets identified themselves as a ground-and-pound team and didn’t address the most basic need for that philosophy to succeed, a capable offensive line.
The game of football has evolved in many facets with the exception that the game is still won in the trenches.
This falls on Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan. They did nothing to address the ineptness of Vladimir Ducasse and Brandon Moore. Untested Austin Howard was handed the right tackle job after Hunter was jettisoned. The depth left a lot to be desired and it showed.
The handling of the offensive line is a microcosm of how Tannenbaum has run this team the last couple of years, patching things together and hoping it works. Now, that lack of attention to the most basic needs of the football team has come back to bite the Jets.
McElroy’s first start wasn’t awful, at least not when compared with some of the performances the Jets have seen from Mark Sanchez in recent weeks. McElroy did the turn the ball over twice, one interception and one fumble, but wasn’t all that bad considering he was on his back most of the day.
McElroy did finish the day 14 of 24 for 185 yards and was spelled by wide receiver Jeremy Kerley who took over the wildcat quarterback duties from Tim Tebow who might as well pack his bag now. It is rumored that Tebow asked to be left out of those duties which might be an indication how upset Tebow is.
It won’t matter who the Jets have under center if the offensive line doesn’t hold up and the wide receivers consist mostly of players the Jets signed off the street a week ago.