The New York Jets were looking towards their final home game in hopes of salvaging some pride and possibly trying to win out to finish with a .500 record. That was not to be as the San Diego Chargers sacked Greg McElroy 11 times in a 27-17 victory at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
The Jets received the kickoff and the initial drive ended with Melvin Ingram sacking Greg McElroy on what would wind up being a double digit total by game's end. Michael Spurlock opened the scoring, taking the punt from Robert Malone 63 yards for a touchdown. The Jets answered the Chargers with McElroy finding Shonn Greene on a screen pass for 30 yards to start the next drive. Then Jeremy Kerley was the wildcat quarterback, finding Clyde Gates for 42 yards to the Chargers 11 yard line. Greene then took a direct snap for three more yards. McElroy appeared to run in for the touchdown but was ruled down at the half-yard line. On second and goal Greene punched it in to tie up the game at seven. When the Jets got the ball back, Kerley ran the punt back 21 yards to the Jets 42 yard line. Greene got 12 yards on first down. Joe McKnight got seven more with nice spin move. McElroy also found Braylon Edwards along the sideline for a nice gain. McElroy tried to time one to Edwards in end zone but pass interference was called on Chargers to put the Jets at first and goal. Greene scored again, on second down to put the Jets up 14-7. Quinton Coples sacked Philip Rivers on second down.
The Chargers drove after a Jets punt but two straight holding penalties moved them back to first and 30. After failing to gain first down, Nick Novak attempted a 46-yard field goal that was good but because of a penalty for too many men on the field they eventually got a 51-yard field goal from Novak to cut the lead to 14-10. Brandon Moore connected with McElroy as he was bumped back into him for another sack of Mac. Malone boomed a 59-yard punt, with only an eight yard return. McElroy connected with Chaz Schilens for seven yards then Hayden Smith for 16 yards on consecutive plays, Smith's first NFL reception. McElroy was sacked twice more before the half. Just before half Wilkerson batted down a Rivers pass attempt.
Rivers connected with Danario Alexander for 37 yards and touchdown on the Chargers opening drive after the half. Kerley, playing out of wildcat again, found Lex Hilliard for 10 yards after moving left then spinning right, but the beautiful play was negated by a penalty when Moore was left uncovered on end of the line. When the Chargers had the ball, Garrett McIntyre sacked Rivers after Coples had initially grabbed him. McElroy suffered another two sacks on the next Jets drive. Bart Scott sacked Rivers after a low snap on next San Diego possession. Antonio Gates beat Eric Smith in coverage later to score another touchdown for San Diego. McElroy found Edwards for 13 yards to start next drive, but was intercepted by Corey Lynch on third down to end it.
Novak would end the drive that followed after the pick with a 27-yard field goal to make lead 27-14. Joe McKnight returned kickoff to about the 40 yard line to start next Jets drive. Then McElroy found Edwards for 10 yards and first down at midfield. Then Schilens was open along sideline for 24 more yards. Nick Folk connected from 40 yards to end drive and cut lead to 10. McElroy targeted Gates on pass play to 30 yard line to start the Jets next possession. McElroy ran for 15 more yards. Shaun Phillips knocked the ball out of McElroy's hand and recover the fumble himself. Rivers gave himself up and Wilkerson recorded the sack on the next San Diego drive. The Jets last possession ended with three straight sacks of McElroy giving the Chargers 11 for the game.
Greg McElroy showed some flashes of the brilliance he possesses as a Rhoades Scholar, but he held the ball too long too often going down behind a crumbling line nearly a dozen times. The Jets hope to salvage a little pride in Buffalo with the other half of the bookend with the Bills.
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