East Rutherford, NJ – Kahlil Bell scored a pair of third quarter touchdowns as the New York Jets pounded the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half to take a 37-13 win for their first triumph of the preseason.
New York dropped a 26-17 decision to the Detroit Lions in their exhibition opener, but moved into the win column by outscoring the Jags 27-0 over the last 30 minutes while receiving somewhat steady quarterback play from starter Mark Sanchez, who led the team on five scoring drives.
Sanchez played three full quarters and made some impressive throws, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland on the Jets' first drive, but also failed to get New York points on two opportunities from the Jaguars' 3-yard line. He was picked off once and ended 13-for-23 for 169 yards.
Chris Ivory made his Jets debut and looks to become the feature running back this season, but it was Bilal Powell that shined on Saturday with 68 yards on seven carries. Ivory had just 13 yards on six touches.
Blaine Gabbert bounced back from a rough performance in the Jaguars' preseason opener, completing 13-of-16 throws for 165 yards and a touchdown. However, he left after suffering a sprain to his right thumb in the second quarter. Justin Blackmon made four catches for 46 yards in Jacksonville's second preseason loss.
Gabbert countered Sanchez's touchdown drive with one of his own, beginning his first series with a 35-yard throw to Ace Sanders and ending it with a 5-yard toss in the end zone to Allen Reisner.
The score was tied at 10-10 after the first quarter, with a 37-yard rush from Powell setting up a 30-yard field goal for Billy Cundiff and Josh Scobee's 23- yard kick capping a 14-play drive orchestrated by Gabbert.
Sanchez moved New York down to the Jags' 3-yard line early in the second, but had his third down pass intercepted by Marcus Trufant. The Jets botched another opportunity from the same spot after Konrad Reuland recovered a muffed punt, but Sanchez couldn't complete any off his three throws, with the last sailing out of bounds as the first half clock expired.
Jacksonville had a 13-10 lead at the break after Scobee booted a 36-yarder through late in the half, but it turned out to be their last score. Bell scored on 5-yard carry to put New York ahead, then broke the plane again on a 1-yard plunge after Danny Lansanah picked off Jags quarterback Chad Henne deep in their own territory.
Nick Folk added a 54-yard field goal and Cundiff kicked a 26-yarder early in the fourth for New York, which capped the scoring when Mike Edwards fell on a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.