Final

Bills 28

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Jets 48

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, September 9, 2012

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 0 7 7 1428
NYJ 7 20 14 748

Top Performers

Passing: M. Sanchez (NYJ) - 266 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Spiller (BUF) - 14 CAR, 169 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: S. Hill (NYJ) - 5 REC, 89 YDS, 2 TD

Mark Sanchez throws for three TDs as Jets romp

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- 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 Buffalo Bills, routing their AFC East rivals 48-28 in the season opener Sunday.

Rex Ryan passed on a chance to say, "We told you so" to all of his team's critics and doubters. So did Sanchez, and Tebow, too.

"Vindication, chip on our shoulder, maybe that's not the right things," Ryan said. "We were just excited to play."

And, they looked it.

Sanchez threw three touchdown passes, including two to rookie Stephen Hill, Jeremy 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."

That's from a team -- labeled by some a "circus" for its penchant for making offseason headlines, namely acquiring Tebow -- that had many wondering what to expect after the first-team offense failed to score a touchdown in the first three games of the preseason.

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

Added Kerley: "We knew what we could do. We just showed the world today."

There were plenty of touchdowns in this one for the Jets, who set the franchise mark for most points in a season opener on Shonn Greene's late 1-yard scoring run.

"He definitely turned it on today," Kerley said of Sanchez. "I think there's always a big target on Mark's back and I think he likes it. He's a guy we trust and know what he's capable each week, and he showed it today."

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. It doesn't appear Revis has a concussion, though.

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.

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.

"As quick as the points got on the board, yeah, definitely," Williams said when asked if he was surprised by what New York did. "I didn't think you would see that lopsided a turnover battle. They got them and we didn't get turnovers on the defense."

Sanchez finished 19 of 27 for 266 yards and the three scores and an interception, and was not sacked.

"They kept me upright," Sanchez said of his offensive line, "and that helps."

Tebow wasn't used that much by the Jets, but added a tricky element to the offense and finished with five rushes for 11 yards and didn't throw a pass.

"After a little bit, we didn't show too much," Tebow said of the wildcat plays. "We were able to get in there and have some efficient plays."

Greene had 27 carries for 94 yards and the TD, and Hill had five catches for 89 yards.

Fitzpatrick was 18 of 32 for 195 yards and three touchdowns -- to Chandler, Stevie Johnson, Donald Jones -- and the three interceptions.

"We're not going to go around like the sky is falling," Bills coach Chan Gailey said. "I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to let them do that."

The Jets opened the game to loud cheers as both Sanchez and Tebow took the field, with the backup quarterback lined up as a slot receiver. Three plays later, Tebow took the snap with Sanchez lined up at wide receiver and handed to Joe McKnight for a 3-yard run.

With the offense moving along, Sanchez took off running and tried to shovel a pass to Jeff Cumberland, who had the ball tip off his hands and right to Bills linebacker Bryan Scott. But the Jets got the ball right back a few minutes later when Revis stepped in front of Fitzpatrick's pass intended for Johnson.

New York used its wildcat package a few times to get into the end zone on its next drive as Sanchez hit Kerley on a 12-yard pass for a touchdown.

The Jets' defense stepped up again a few minutes later, this time with Kyle Wilson picking off Fitzpatrick's pass intended for David Nelson, who later left with a knee injury.

Five plays later -- right after Tebow gained 3 yards on a direct snap -- Sanchez connected with Hill for a 33-yard score on the opening snap of the second quarter to put the Jets up 14-0.

The Bills couldn't get much going on their next possession and weren't helped by the crew of replacement officials. On fourth-and-1 from its 29, Buffalo was called for a delay of game penalty after the officials took a while spotting the ball. Several Bills players yelled at officials, to no avail, and it became fourth-and-6 from the 24.

Brian Moorman punted it 43 yards, and Kerley -- zigzagging through tackle attempts -- returned it 68 yards for a touchdown, putting New York up 21-0.

There was more bad news for the Bills on their next possession as Fred Jackson injured his right leg after a 7-yard run when he was tackled hard by LaRon Landry. Jackson stayed down for a few moments while he was checked by trainers before walking on his own to the sideline.

He walked around for a while before finally heading to the locker room, a towel draped over his head, with two trainers accompanying him.

"Fred doesn't look as bad as David," Gailey said. "We don't know how bad David is, but it doesn't look good right now. We'll get a further evaluation (Monday)."

Game notes


Kerley's punt return was the Jets' first for a score since Santana Moss in 2004 playoffs at Pittsburgh, ending the NFL's longest drought. ... Jets CB Antonio Cromartie banged up his left shoulder and had it wrapped after the game, but said he'll be fine. LB Bryan Thomas and WR Patrick Turner also left with hamstring injuries. ... The Bills' worst opening-game loss came in 1960, a 27-3 defeat against the New York Titans -- the Jets' earlier incarnation.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BUF
NYJ
1st Downs2021
Passing 1st downs
1315
Rushing 1st downs
65
1st downs from Penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
6-910-14
4th down efficiency
1-10-0
Total Plays5863
Total Yards390384
Yards per play6.76.1
Total Drives1210
Passing195266
Comp - Att
18-3219-27
Yards per pass
6.19.9
Interceptions thrown
31
Sacks - Yards Lost
0-00-0
Rushing195118
Rushing Attempts
2636
Yards per rush
7.53.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-23-5
Penalties6-345-34
Turnovers41
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
31
Defensive / Special Teams TDs02
Possession28:4231:18

Passing Leaders

BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Fitzpat...18/321956.1330-0
NYJC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Sanchez19/272669.9310-0

Rushing Leaders

BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Spiller1416912.1156
Jackson6152.507
NYJCARYDSAVGTDLG
Greene27943.5114
Tebow5112.204

Receiving Leaders

BUFRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Johnson45513.812910
Jones5418.21127
NYJRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Hill58917.82336
Holmes46817.00258

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBUFNYJ
nyjTD06:02Jeremy Kerley 12 Yd Pass From Mark Sanchez (Nick Folk Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERBUFNYJ
nyjTD14:53Stephen Hill 33 Yd Pass From Mark Sanchez (Nick Folk Kick) 014
nyjTD12:40Jeremy Kerley 68 Yd Punt Return (Nick Folk Kick) 021
bufTD09:06C.J. Spiller 56 Yd Run (Rian Lindell Kick) 721
nyjFG01:57Nick Folk 25 Yd 724
nyjFG00:12Nick Folk 39 Yd 727
THIRD QUARTERBUFNYJ
nyjTD13:41Antonio Cromartie 40 Yd Interception Return (Nick Folk Kick) 734
nyjTD09:38Stephen Hill 17 Yd Pass From Mark Sanchez (Nick Folk Kick) 741
bufTD04:26Scott Chandler 5 Yd Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick) 1441
FOURTH QUARTERBUFNYJ
bufTD07:57Donald Jones 6 Yd Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick) 2141
bufTD05:58Stevie Johnson 29 Yd Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick) 2841
nyjTD01:17Shonn Greene 1 Yd Run (Nick Folk Kick) 2848

Research Notes

The Jets had 3 passing touchdowns and 3 interceptions in their season opener. Of the last 9 teams to do this, 8 finished with a winning record, including 3 that won the Super Bowl.
The Jets ran the ball eight times on eight snaps with Tim Tebow at quarterback. All eight rushes were zone read options and Tebow kept the ball on five of those plays for 11 yards.
Shonn Greene rushed between the tackles a career-high 24 times Sunday for 84 yards and a touchdown. The Bills defense allowed the 7th-highest yards per rush average and 2nd-most rushing touchdowns between the tackles in 2011.
Mark Sanchez went 2-for-2 for 60 yards and a touchdown when targeting Stephen Hill over 20 yards downfield. Sanchez completed just 25.6 percent of passes thrown that distance last year (29th in NFL) with three touchdowns.
Tim Tebow was on the field for 12 plays. Nine of those were on offense with one coming at tight end. Mark Sanchez was on the field for two of the eight snaps where Tebow took the snap at quarterback. Tebow played in punt protection twice and recovered an on-side kick on a kickoff.
Jeremy Kerley's 68-yd punt return TD is the longest by a Jet since Terance Mathis' 98-yd return in 1990 vs the Cowboys.
Jeremy Kerley is the 2nd player in Jets history to return a punt for a touchdown in the season's first game. The other-- Chris Farasopoulos (65 yards) against the Bills in 1972

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