East Rutherford, NJ – Mark Sanchez threw three touchdown passes and the New York defense forced four turnovers, as the Jets quickly put a dismal preseason behind them and rolled to a 48-28 victory over the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium.
The Jets (1-0) didn't score a touchdown in a winless August until the final exhibition game, but proved the preseason doesn't translate to regular-season success ... at least for a week.
After throwing an interception on the Jets' first drive, Sanchez played brilliantly behind an offensive line that did not allow a sack all day. He completed 19-of-27 passes for 266 yards with three touchdowns, connecting twice with rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill.
Tim Tebow's long-awaited Jets' debut was a quiet one. He appeared in several Wildcat formations, but rushed for just 11 yards on five carries and did not attempt a pass.
The New York defense featured interceptions by Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie, as well as a fumble recovery, leading to half of the Jets' scoring output.
"I'm excited about it. We expected to win," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "We knew that Buffalo was a tough opponent, but we expected to win."
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions and three touchdown passes for Buffalo (0-1), while C.J. Spiller received the bulk of the carries after starting running back Fred Jackson left the game with a leg injury and ran for 169 yards with a touchdown yards on 14 carries.
"We made too many mistakes to win a game like that. You can't make mistakes and win games like that," Bills coach Chan Gailey said.
After Sanchez was intercepted to end New York's first series, Fitzpatrick gave it right back. Revis' pick led directly to a 12-yard TD strike from Sanchez to Jeremy Kerley for a 7-0 lead. The Jets' first-string offense did not score a touchdown during the preseason.
Wilson's interception of Fitzpatrick on the ensuing series led to Sanchez's 33-yard touchdown pass to Hill, who led the Jets in receptions and finished with five catches for 89 yards,
The Jets forced Buffalo to punt on the next series and Kerley ran the kick back for a 68-yard score. Kerley's first career touchdown on a punt return gave New York a comfortable 21-0 lead.
Spiller's 56-yard run got the Bills on the board in the second quarter, but Nick Folk kicked a pair of field goals for the Jets late in the half -- the second coming after New York recovered a Spiller fumble.
Cromartie then picked off Fitzpatrick on Buffalo's first series of the second half and returned the interception 40 yards for a score before Sanchez and Hill hooked up again later in the third, a 17-yard TD connection that made it 41-7.
Fitzpatrick threw TD passes of five yards to Scott Chandler, six yards to Donald Jones and 29 yards to Steve Johnson to make the score somewhat respectable before Shonn Greene scored New York's final touchdown on a 1-yard run. Greene finished with 94 yards on 27 carries.
Revis left the game in fourth quarter with an apparent head injury and did not return ... The Jets and Bills opened the season against one another for the 11th time ... The Jets have won their last six games against Buffalo.