By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Jets struck early and soared to a 32-3 thumping of the Jacksonville Jaguars to improve their record to 2-0 in National Football League (NFL) action on Sunday.
The Jets had gone 16 straight games without scoring a first-quarter touchdown but snapped that streak on the first possession of the game when quarterback Mark Sanchez connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes.
New York scored on the very next possession, adding two points when defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson tackled Jaguars quarterback Luke McCown in the end zone for a safety.
Jacksonville, who dropped to 1-1, drew within 9-3 on a 55-yard field goal by Josh Scobee late in the first quarter, but Nick Folk kicked two field goals to build New York's lead to 15-3 by intermission and then added 14 points in the third quarter to turn it into a rout.
The vaunted defense of the Jets held the Jaguars offense to 203 total yards, and their dominant secondary intercepted Jacksonville quarterback McCown four times.
Sanchez, focusing on favorite receivers Holmes and tight end Dustin Keller, completed 17-of-24 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns before giving way to back-up Mark Brunell in the fourth quarter.
McCown finished a dismal 6-for-19 passing with four interceptions before being replaced by first-round draft pick Blaine Gabbert, who went 5-of-6 for 52 yards in his NFL debut.
The Jets travel to Oakland next week to play the Raiders, while Jacksonville visit the Carolina Panthers.
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Frank Pingue)