Jets grades

San Diego Chargers linebacker Larry English tugs at

San Diego Chargers linebacker Larry English tugs at the jersey of Greg McElroy. (Dec. 23, 2012) (Credit: AP)

OFFENSE

D The Jets offense got off to a better start than it has in recent weeks. But 11 sacks are simply inexcusable. The offensive line didn't give Greg McElroy any breaks in his first NFL start, as the second-year quarterback was constantly under pressure. The fact that he was able to complete 14 of 24 passes for 185 yards under duress was a miracle in itself. Shonn Greene rushed for two touchdowns (each 1-yard runs), but gained just 38 total yards on 14 carries. Jeremy Kerley's 42-yard Wildcat-pass to Clyde Gates was one of the few offensive bright spots.

 

DEFENSE

C- Less than a week after coughing up a third-quarter lead to the Titans, Rex Ryan's beloved defense let San Diego off the hook. Philip Rivers had just 56 passing yards in the first half, but the Chargers quarterback hit Danario Alexander and Antonio Gates on third-quarter TDs. The collective breakdowns on defense have become commonplace.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

D Would it have been too much for the unit to have a near-perfect performance in Mike Westhoff's final home game? Apparently, yes. The Jets special teamers allowed Michael Spurlock to return a Robert Malone punt 63 yards for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Malone averaged just 26.5 net yards on six punts.

 

COACHING

C- Tony Sparano finally displayed some of his Wildcat creativity. The bad news is, it's Week 16. For some inexplicable reason, Ryan chose to suit up all three quarterbacks, though it was clear that he had no intentions of letting either Mark Sanchez (who held a clipboard all afternoon) or Tim Tebow into the game. Ryan was right to assume the Chargers wouldn't suspect Kerley would take the Wildcat snaps. But the coach again failed to acknowledge that his quarterback management is mystifying at best. Not to mention, with his team trailing 17-14 in the third, Ryan chose to punt on fourth-and-1 from their own 41. With the playoffs already out of the picture, why not take a chance?

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