The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Jets Win - NBC New York

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The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Jets Win

The quarterback controversy you didn't expect has arrived



    The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Jets Win
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    Sanchez's day came to an ugly end.

    You knew half of the way it would end for Mark Sanchez. 

    You always knew that it would come on a day like Sunday in front of a hostile home crowd appalled by the kind of brutal performance they'd seen one too many times. The surprise turned out to be the guy who replaced Sanchez. 

    Greg McElroy was the rookie who spouted off about the dysfunctional locker room last season and a guy people would throw out as an option in Sanchez's darkest hours, but everyone always assumed it would be Tim Tebow who replaced Sanchez. He'd be the guy who led the win and inspired the masses and turned water into wine and...

    Well, you get the picture. Or you did until McElroy got to play the hero against the Cardinals in a game that set offensive football back about 35 years. 

    The sports movie to end all sports movies got a third act rewrite and now no one can tell how it ends. Ryan has three choices and none of them are great. 

    He can stick with McElroy, which would be the popular choice based on his not being Sanchez and throwing a touchdown pass to win Sunday's game 7-6. McElroy was a seventh-round pick for a reason, though, and it wasn't exactly like he was the second coming of Sammy Baugh against the Cardinals.

    Ryan could go back to Sanchez and stick with the same rationale he's always used about making the best choice for winning the game in front of him. He's getting paid $8.5 million next year whether he is starting, backing up or starring in "Chicago," so it makes sense to try to wring some value out of him. 

    How far can you really go with a quarterback that you've turned into the equivalent of an aging pitcher, though? And you can't really keep selling the idea that he's improving, although Ryan could give it a shot.

    And then there's Tebow, who says he could've played on Sunday and whose presence has launched a fun little conspiracy theory that the Jets waited until Sunday to pull Sanchez because Tebow wasn't active. That seems a stretch, although option two doesn't exist if Tebow is the guy who replaces Sanchez so the Jets do leave themselves more options. 

    Here's the thing, though, all the options pretty much stink. The drama is a little different, but the situation is the same old ugly one that it has always been.  

    That leads us to the rest of the good, bad and ugly from Sunday. 

    GOOD: Three-quarters of the offense in this game was horrifying to watch, but Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell actually did a good job on the ground. It didn't amount to much thanks to Sanchez's three interceptions and Nick Folk's superhuman ability to put the ball into the upright, which doesn't mean it should go unmentioned. 

    BAD: We just mentioned Folk, but he deserves further mention thanks to his two field goals off the upright during Sunday's game. Throw in the 40-yard gain by the Cardinals on a fake punt and that's another bad day for Mike Westhoff in his swan song as the team's special teams guru.

    UGLY: Sanchez was finally benched, but he wasn't even the worst quarterback on the field. Ryan Lindley made some throws on Sunday that defied explanation, as did Ken Whisenhunt's decision to stick with him over John Skelton.

    GOOD: Bad as Lindley was and bad as the Cardinals offensive line is, the Jets defense still deserves some credit. In games like this, it is easy to lose focus for a moment and let the offense make a play that leads to even three points. The Jets didn't do that. 

    BAD: Another injury for Dustin Keller, which could keep him out as a reliable target for whoever plays quarterback. It may make him cheaper to keep as a free agent, though.

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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