Jets bench slumping Sanchez in favor of McElroy

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The New York Jets will have a new starting quarterback for Sunday's game with the San Diego Chargers. However, it won't be Tim Tebow.

The team announced on Tuesday that second-year pro Greg McElroy will get the nod against the Chargers in place of the badly struggling Mark Sanchez, who was charged with five turnovers in Monday's 14-10 loss at Tennessee that officially eliminated New York from playoff contention.

Sanchez is in the midst of a brutal three-week stretch in which the former first-round choice has thrown seven interceptions and lost two fumbles while completing just 51 percent of his throws for a mere 339 yards. He's also had only one touchdown pass over that span.

The final straw came in Monday's must-win matchup with the Titans, in which he was picked off four times and fumbled in the final seconds while mustering only 131 passing yards on an off-target 13-of-28 accuracy.

For the season, Sanchez has tossed 17 interceptions against 13 touchdowns to go along with a 54.8 percent completion rate. His quarterback rating of 67.9 ranks near the bottom of the NFL among qualifying passers and is his lowest since his rookie campaign of 2009.

Head coach Rex Ryan tabbed McElroy, a seventh-round pick in last year's draft with just seven regular-season pass attempts to his credit, over the more experienced Tebow, the popular offseason acquisition who helped the Denver Broncos to a surprise AFC West title and a victory over Pittsburgh in the first round of the 2011 conference playoffs.

McElroy, the starting quarterback on Alabama's BCS national championship squad of 2009, did fare well in his only NFL action to date. The 24-year-old took over for an ineffective Sanchez in the third quarter of a Week 13 clash against Arizona and completed 5-of-7 attempts, including a go-ahead touchdown pass in the Jets' 7-6 win.

Tebow, who came over from the Broncos in a trade back in March shortly after Denver landed Peyton Manning, has been utilized sparingly as a situational player during his first season in New York. The former Heisman Trophy winner has attempted only eight passes in 11 games in addition to rushing for 102 yards on 32 carries.