Ryan benched Sanchez and inserted Greg McElroy at quarterback midway through the third quarter, drawing loud cheers from a sparse but frustrated crowd at MetLife Stadium. McElroy promptly led the Jets on 10-play, 54-yard touchdown drive, punctuated by his 1-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland, that gave New York the only score it needed in a 7-6 win.
Sanchez was 10-of-21 passing for 97 yards with three interceptions before being pulled. The Jets didn't manage any points with Sanchez facing the Cardinals' strong defense, though Nick Folk missed two field-goal attempts in the first half.
McElroy was a seventh-round draft pick out of Alabama in the 2011 NFL Draft. He missed all of last season with a thumb injury, so this was the first game action of his NFL career. McElroy finished the game 5 of 7 for 29 yards and the TD.
Tim Tebow, the Jets' regular backup quarterback, was inactive with a rib injury.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.