Everyone was fired up over the Jets’ 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Well, almost everyone.
The fans went crazy when Rex Ryan made the switch from embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez to Greg McElroy late in the third quarter. The rest of the offense appeared energized, too. The only group appearing to be unfazed by the switch was the Jets’ defense. Outside of a fake punt, which netted the Cardinals 40 yards and ultimately led to a field goal, the Jets’ defense was almost flawless.
Almost to a man, many defensive players chose to ignore the tremendous fuss surrounding the quarterback change and what came with it. For the defense, it was business as usual. “Our biggest focus was to make sure we got off the field,” Antonio Cromartie said. “We just worked on what we had to do. [The quarterback switch] was a decision [Ryan] made.”
The focus of the Jets’ defense was in the right place, as the Cardinals went 0-for-15 on third downs and managed just 137 of total offense. The defense, not missing a beat or even acknowledging the switch in some cases, proves just how fragmented a pro football locker room can be.
Two weeks ago, the big story was about unnamed Jets players trashing Tim Tebow. Now the story will be about McElroy and Sanchez’s future with the organization. Although many defensive players didn’t get into long conversations about the change, they couldn’t ignore the excitement in the building.
“Well, you can definitely tell that the stadium was happy about it,” said Yeremiah Bell. “We knew if we kept playing good defense, we’d give ourselves a chance to win, and that’s what we did.”
The defense will need to have their blinders on once again. As of AmNews press time, Ryan had not announced who the starting quarterback will be when the Jets (5-7) play at Jacksonville (2-10) on Sunday.
“I’ll let you guys know who’s going to be quarterback when I’m ready,” Ryan said. “We’ll evaluate our situation as the week goes on.”
Is Ryan not naming a starting quarterback gamesmanship or mass confusion? Tune in to CBS at 1 p.m. on Sunday for the answer.