It wasn’t exactly the kind of start New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was hoping for, but the veteran signal-caller overcame a nightmarish beginning to salvage a solid outing Friday night in the Motor City. Sanchez’s struggles began on his third pass attempt from scrimmage when he misfired on a screen pass intended for fullback Tommy Bohanon and the ball was intercepted by Detroit Lions rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who returned it 14 yards for a touchdown. No. 6 shook off the rough opening series and led the Jets on a seven-play, 80 yard drive capped by a 26 yard touchdown strike to tight end Jeff Cumberland on their third offensive series of the contest. Sanchez finished the day 10-of-13 for 126 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Geno Smith entered the game at the start of the second quarter and after completing a 15 yard pass to Clyde Gates on his first dropback, the rookie gunslinger failed to lead the Jets to a first down on the next three offensive series.
To start the second half, Smith had the chains moving marching the Jets 30 yards on four plays, before suffering an apparent ankle injury as he scrambled on the fifth play of the ensuring possession; forcing him to miss the remainder of the game. Smith finished the day 6-of-7 for 47 yards, but failed to produce a scoring drive. The Jets second round draft pick will be revaluated Saturday by team doctors.
While Friday’s preseason contest was intended to be a measuring stick game for New York’s hotly contested starting quarterback battle, Smith’s injury could put him behind the eight ball if he’s out for an extended period of time.
The Jets return to MetLife Stadium on Saturday, August 17, when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars in their second preseason contest.