East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Mark Sanchez is still in the honeymoon
stage in New York, throwing for two touchdowns and adding a rushing score to
lead the Jets in a 24-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans in a rainy
afternoon at the Meadowlands.
Sanchez became the franchise's first quarterback to win the initial three
starts of his career, as he completed 17-of-30 throws for 171 yards with an
interception for the Jets (3-0), who are off to their best start since 2004.
Jerricho Cotchery had eight receptions for 108 yards and a TD in the win.
Both running games were bottled up throughout. New York's combination of Leon
Washington and Thomas Jones amassed a total of 66 yards on 26 carries, while
the Titans' Chris Johnson, who was coming off a career-high 197-yard rushing
effort last week, gained 97 yards on 22 carries.
Kerry Collins did not complete a pass in the fourth quarter (10 attempts),
finishing with 170 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions on 15-of-37
attempts for Tennessee (0-3), which lost its first two games by a combined six
LenDale White had a rushing score in defeat, while Ryan Mouton coughed up two
costly fumbles on special teams.
"Our message all week was to protect the football," Titans head coach Jeff
Fisher said. "You turn the ball over twice on special teams and it's hard to
win the ballgame, especially against a team like this. Ryan's going to be a
good player for us, but it's my responsibility to get someone in there to
make those plays.
On the first possession of the second half, Collins completed a pair of 27-
yard strikes to Kenny Britt and Alge Crumpler, respectively. On the seventh
play of the drive, Collins found Nate Washington for a nine-yard TD to give
Tennessee its first lead, 17-14. It proved to be the QB's last completion.
The Jets' fifth consecutive three-and-out resulted in a punt midway through
the third, but Mouton gave the hosts a gift by muffing the kick. New York took
over at the Tennessee 23 and, after gaining a much-needed first down, Sanchez
connected with Cotchery on a six-yard slant in the end zone.
"The young buck did a great job," Cotchery said of his QB. "We knew we had to
get the ball out fast. It was a different route. He had to change the route.
He made a great throw, putting the ball on me and the rest was history."
Cotchery came up with another huge catch in the early stages of the fourth, as
he was able to keep his feet inbounds on a 46-yard bomb down to the 14-yard-
line, setting up Jay Feely's 30-yard field goal with 11:36 remaining.
Tennessee punted the next two times it had the ball, but Chris Hope picked off
a Sanchez pass with 6 1/2 minutes to go. After the Titans rushed for two first
downs, Collins threw a poor pass right to Jets linebacker David Harris.
The Titans had one last chance with the ball at their own 34 with 2:52 left,
but a Harris sack and a dropped ball by Britt on 3rd-and-23 essentially sealed
the game's outcome.
Sanchez was exceptional on the opening drive of the game, hitting 5-of-6
attempts for 50 yards to lead the Jets into the red zone. On 3rd-and-10 from
the 14, the rookie scrambled out of the pocket and took it himself, surviving
a big hit at the one before stretching the ball over the goal line.
Mouton fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Jets took advantage of the short
field when Ben Hartsock was left wide open after a nice play fake for a two-
yard TD grab and a 14-0 lead just eight minutes into the game.
The Titans finally showed some life early in the second after Tony Brown
forced a Sanchez fumble at the New York 45. It took the visitors 10 plays to
work their way down the field, and White broke several tackles before powering
into the end zone from five yards out.
It was the first offensive touchdown scored against the Jets this season.
A two-minute drill before the break yielded a 38-yard Rob Bironas field goal,
cutting the Titans' deficit to 14-10.
Missing in action were Tennessee tight end Bo Scaife (knee) and Jets
cornerbacks Lito Sheppard (quadriceps) and Donald Strickland (ankle)...Both
teams wore retro jerseys commemorating the AFL's 50th Anniversary...Washington
had 46 yards on 12 carries, compared to 20 yards on 14 carries for
Thomas...Britt led the Titans with 59 yards on four grabs...Tennessee
outgained the Jets, 286-229.
09/27 19:38:42 ET
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