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Rex Benches Sanchez; McElroy Rallies Jets To Victory

Mark Sanchez (credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Mark Sanchez (credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mark Sanchez was replaced as Jets quarterback during the third quarter Sunday by third-stringer Greg McElroy, after another miserable performance by the New York starter.

Sanchez was 10 for 21 for 97 yards and three interceptions when he left with 4:48 left in the third quarter and the Jets trailing the Arizona Cardinals 3-0 on Sunday. McElroy, active for the first time in his two-year NFL career, was cheered loudly by the fans at MetLife Stadium as he entered the game.

As CBS 2’s Steve Overmyer reported, McElroy, 24, led Alabama to the national championship three years ago.

After having a pass batted down by the Cardinals’ Ronald Talley, Sanchez was met on the sideline by coach Rex Ryan, who said something to his quarterback as McElroy immediately warmed up.

“You know what?” said Coach Rex Ryan after the game. “I have seen enough, and it’s time to make that change.”

And with that, the afterthought of the Jets offense was plugged into the game, while Sanchez and Tim Tebow watched from the sidelines.

McElroy went on to rally the Jets to a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

“It was a learning experience,” Sanchez said. “I’ll move on, and do exactly what Greg does for me, and that’s support him.”

Boos turned into cheers as McElroy took over, especially when he tossed the go-ahead touchdown.

“Tough to gauge the energy. Obviously, I didn’t have, like, a decibel meter to tell what the crowd noise was,” McElroy said. “I was excited; excited to get a shot and go in there.”

Tim Tebow, the usual backup, is inactive as he heals from two broken ribs.

So what happens now? The Jets are no strangers to quarterback controversies.

Earlier in the season, Ryan has stood by Sanchez saying No. 6 would remain his No. 1 no matter what, even since the acquisition of Tebow.

Ryan was spotted consoling his benched quarterback after the game.

“We’ll address that, you know, going forward,” Ryan said. “Right now, I’m just happy with the win.”

McElroy was also living in the present Sunday.

“It’s not worth speculating about, to be honest with you,” he said. “We’re football players. Nothing is ever guaranteed, and nothing is ever for sure.”

Next week, the Jets play the lonely Jacksonville Jaguars. Overmyer said if Ryan were going to make a switch, a matchup against the second worst defense in the NFL seems like a good time to do it.

What do you think about the benching of Sanchez? Let us know in the comment section below.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)