Mark Sanchez played poorly and was pulled on Sunday in place of the backup quarterback, who promptly led the offense on a game-winning drive for the New York Jets over the Arizona Cardinals.
This scenario has been expected for many months now, but no one imagined it would have been Greg McElroy at quarterback rather than Tim Tebow.
These are the moments Tebow has built his NFL career on, but he was nowhere to be found Sunday, missing the game with a rib injury.
McElroy, on the very first drive of his career, led a game-winning touchdown march, hitting Jeff Cumberland for the easiest 1-yard touchdown pass you may ever see. He even contributed to the last drive which consumed the final 7:55 off the clock in a 7-6 win.
Rarely does a quarterback lead a fourth-quarter comeback and game-winning drive in his first NFL game, but I have started to compile a list of occurrences.
4QC/GWD in NFL Debut:
- Bob Waters (1960)
- Warren Rabb (1961)
- Sam Etcheverry (1961)
- Archie Manning (1971)
- Clint Longley (1974)
- Jerry Golsteyn (1977)
- Turk Schonert (1981)
- Dieter Brock (1985)
- Steve Young (1985)
- Bernie Kosar (1985)
- Brian McClure (1987)
- Mike Kelley (1987)
- Jim Druckenmiller (1997)
- Ryan Leaf (1998)
- Jake Delhomme (1999; 4QC only)
- A.J. Feeley (2001)
- Brian St. Pierre (2004)
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (2005)
- Greg McElroy (2012)
Not sure anyone on the list but McElroy was able to accomplish it on their very first drive. If you broke it down that way, he’d be batting 1.000 in clutch drive success rate.
Is it the most impressive list? Not at all, but the win should create another quarterback controversy in New York.
Just not the one we all expected.
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