Sanchez, Jets roll to 48-28 rout of Bills

Associated Press Published: September 10, 2012
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Rex Ryan refused to gloat. No bragging or bold declarations, either.

The New York Jets coach had just watched his team light up the scoreboard all afternoon after hearing for weeks about how inept it was on offense.

No touchdowns by the starters in a winless preseason? Maybe the Jets really were holding back their best stuff for the regular season. How else to explain a 48-28 drubbing of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday that set a franchise record for most points scored in an opener?

"We were up for it, there's no question about it," Ryan said. "I think vindication, or chip on the shoulder, maybe that's not the right (words). We were just excited to play. We feel good."

And it certainly showed.

One touchdown after another, the New York Jets eased all those preseason concerns about their low-scoring offense. With a whole lot of Mark Sanchez, a sprinkling of Tim Tebow and a dominant first-half effort by the defense, New York manhandled the Bills.

"We knew what we could do," wide receiver Jeremy Kerley said. "We just showed the world today."

And silenced the critics. At least for a week.

"It looked like we were making up for lost time there," Sanchez said.

Sanchez threw three touchdown passes, including two to rookie Stephen Hill, Kerley had a touchdown catch and a punt return for a score, and Antonio Cromartie took one of New York's three interceptions of Ryan Fitzpatrick to the end zone.

"It's a great win, there's no doubt about it," Sanchez said. "But, we've got lots of work to do."

There were plenty of touchdowns in this one for the Jets, who capped their scoring outburst on Shonn Greene's late 1-yard scoring run.

Sanchez had the offense humming along so well, the fans at MetLife Stadium actually booed Tebow when he failed to gain a yard when he took a direct snap in the second quarter. The video board quickly flashed a sign: "Quiet! Offense At Work!"

Not everything went right, though, as the Jets allowed 195 yards rushing, including a career-high 169 by C.J. Spiller, and All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis left in the fourth quarter with a head injury that was not believed to be a concussion.

Perhaps the only other thing that went wrong came early in the fourth quarter when Ryan took a tumble when Scott Chandler knocked into him on the sideline after a catch. Ryan went down to a knee and then laughed as he got up.

"As excited and happy as I am about this win, it's only one win," Ryan said. "Obviously, we need a lot more to get to where we want to get to, which is the playoffs."

The game marked the highly anticipated debuts of Tebow, who worked in the wildcat a little bit and also recovered a late onside kick by Buffalo, and Bills defensive end Mario Williams — who was a non-factor against a Jets offensive line that protected Sanchez throughout and gave him plenty of time to throw. Williams finished with just one tackle and complained about the replacement officials after the game.

"Obviously, some of the officials on the field don't understand what constitutes an offsetting penalty, and that's disappointing," said Williams, who signed a six-year, $100 million deal in the offseason that is the biggest for a defensive player. "Also, pass blocking doesn't include hands to the face. When someone tells the officials that and they just walk away, or they don't call it, that's disheartening."

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