EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets' offense sputtered again.
They at least left the game against the Washington Redskins on a positive note.
Sanchez connected with Dustin Keller for a 10-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, capping a 15-play drive that gave New York a lead before Washington came back to win a snoozer 16-11 on Friday night.
Larry Johnson, competing with Clinton Portis and Willie Parker for a spot in the backfield for the Redskins (2-1), caught a screen pass from Richard Bartel and rumbled 15 yards for the winning score with 2:13 left.
Looking to rebound from a poor performance against Carolina last weekend, the Jets (1-2) were hurt by turnovers and missed opportunities.
Jets coach Rex Ryan could hardly be confident in his offense after another preseason clunker. Sanchez finished 13 of 21 for 139 yards and an interception for the Jets, who struggled mightily for most of three quarters.
Rex Grossman started for the injured Donovan McNabb for Washington, and went 8 of 16 for 111 yards. Without McNabb, who missed the game with a sprained left ankle, the Redskins' first-team offense couldn't do much against the Jets' starters on defense, but Washington still led in the fourth quarter.
After Graham Gano's third field goal of the game gave Washington a 9-5 lead with 6:46 left in the third quarter, Sanchez and the offense were given one more chance to get something going.
This time, they delivered. Finally.
Sanchez completed three third-down passes — a situation the Jets were only 1 of 7 until that point. On third-and-9 from the 20, LaDainian Tomlinson caught a 9-yard pass for a first down to end the third quarter.
After Shonn Greene's 1-yard run, Sanchez found Keller over the middle, and the tight end stretched the ball over the goal line to give New York the 11-9 lead with 14:18 left — but Nick Folk clunked the extra point attempt off the left upright.
Tomlinson had some impressive moments for the Jets, rushing for 86 yards on 11 carries. Greene had 12 carries for 56 yards for New York.
Johnson had 42 yards on nine carries, while Parker got the start and had eight rushes for 16 yards.
Folk gave the Jets a 3-0 lead midway through the opening quarter, capping New York's first possession with a 45-yard field goal. After getting down to the Redskins 28, Sanchez was sacked by Adam Carriker, and was nearly picked off by DeAngelo Hall before settling for the field goal.
Washington came right back with a 10-play drive, capped by Gano's 27-yard field goal. The possession nearly ended when Antonio Cromartie intercepted Grossman, but the Jets cornerback was called for defensive holding on the play. A 29-yard catch by Santana Moss and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Bart Scott put Washington in scoring position before the offense stalled.
Sanchez got the Jets down to the Redskins 13 midway through the second quarter, but made a bad throw intended for Keller that was intercepted by Hall.
Washington took advantage, converting the turnover into points with Gano's 42-yard field goal with 5:10 left that made it 6-3.
Right after the 2-minute warning, Grossman couldn't handle a shotgun snap that tipped off his hands and bounced into the end zone. The Redskins quarterback kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety — making it a 6-5.
On the Jets' next possession, Santonio Holmes caught a 23-yard pass, but Phillip Buchanon punched the ball out and Perry Riley recovered for Washington.
Folk was a few yards short on a 62-yard attempt as time expired at the half.
Washington scored on its first possession of the second half, capping a 13-play drive with Gano's 41-yarder that made it 9-5.
Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, after a tumultuous week, was on the field with the starters late in the opening quarter. He played with the backups in Washington's 23-3 loss to Baltimore and said he shouldn't have been out on the field in the third quarter.
Haynesworth, who missed numerous practices because of a failed conditioning test, a sore knee and then an illness, also said coach Mike Shanahan underplayed his medical condition.