By Larry Fine
EAST RUTHERFORD (Reuters) - Second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez silenced his critics by outduelling Tom Brady and leading the New York Jets to a 28-14 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday.
Sanchez, the lowest rated quarterback in the AFC after throwing for just 74 yards in last week's 10-9 season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens, completed 21-of-30 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns.
Brady, a five-time Pro Bowl quarterback who owns three Super Bowl rings and two Super Bowl MVP awards, was 20-of-36 for 248 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted twice.
"This is a huge game for us," New York coach Rex Ryan told reporters after the Jets roared back by scoring 21 unanswered points. "We're back to being who we think we are."
Ryan said he was certain Sanchez would rebound.
"I just thought he played great," added tough-talking Ryan, who said before the season he has his sights on the Super Bowl. "We've got the right guy pulling the trigger for us."
Said Sanchez: "It's tough when you lose that first game. It feels like you are 0-10. This game couldn't come soon enough.
"This is exactly the way we knew the team could play, the way I could play. We just came out and had some fun."
The Patriots, who beat the Cincinnati Bengals 38-24 in Week One, dropped to 1-1, while the Miami Dolphins rose to the top of the AFC East at 2-0 after beating the Minnesota Vikings.
New England controlled the action for most of the first half and claimed a 14-7 lead thanks to a brilliant one-handed grab by receiver Randy Moss for a 34-yard touchdown from Brady with 53 seconds left in the second quarter.
All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis pulled up lame on the play, clutching his left hamstring and would not return to the game but the Jets rose to the challenge.
New York showed its resolve by streaking down the field after the ensuing kickoff to add three points with a 49-yard field goal by Nick Folk as time expired.
The Jets soared after intermission, putting up 11 points in the third quarter on a 36-yard field by Folk and two-yard TD pass to Jerricho Cotchery followed by a two-point conversion on a Sanchez pass to Braylon Edwards.
Sanchez threw another a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dustin Keller in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
The final threat by New England ended when Jason Taylor caused a fumble by Brady as the Patriots were driving in Jets territory late in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Bryan Thomas picked up the ball and rumbled 16 yards to the New York 41-yard line with 4:06 left.
The victory gave the Jets bragging rights over the Patriots in their long rivalry dating back to their days in the old American Football League, making it 51-50-1 in favor of New York, including two postseason games.
The Jets travel to Miami for a showdown next week against the Dolphins, while the Patriots host the 0-2 Buffalo Bills.
(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)