When New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, 49, pulled the beleaguered starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, 26, in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, he passed up putting in the popular, yet unproven, 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, 25, opting instead for third-string quarterback Greg McElroy, 24, who led the Jets to a 7-6 victory that kept their slim playoff hopes alive.

McElroy completed five of seven pass attempts for 29 yards and threw for one touchdown to beat the Arizona Cardinals 7-6. With the win, the Jets improved to 5-7.

“It was fun,” said McElroy, the team’s seventh-round pick last year who led Alabama to a national championship in 2009. “We were having a good time. It was exciting to get a shot and go in there.”

Ryan is keeping quiet about his team’s quarterback situation. “I’ll let you guys know who’s going to be the quarterback when I’m ready to,” he told reporters. “We’ll look at our situation and evaluate as the week goes on.”

Sanchez, who finished 10 of 21 for 97 yards and threw three interceptions, was happy to see McElroy get an opportunity to show what he could do. “I’m really happy for the team, and really happy for Greg,” Sanchez said. “He came in and played his butt off.”

Fans across the country are split over who Ryan should start next week as quarterback. An ESPN SportsNation poll reveals that 48% percent of fans believe it should be Tebow, while 45% believe it should be McElroy. Only 7% believe it should be Sanchez.

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