Jets defense dominant in win over Panthers
Darrelle Revis saw the ball deflect off Steve Smith's foot and float right into his hands.
Finally, the New York Jets thought, a lucky bounce that went their way.
Revis returned one of the Jets' four interceptions 67 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and New York overcame an injury scare to quarterback Mark Sanchez before holding on to beat the Carolina Panthers 17-6 on Sunday.
"That was a sigh of relief," Revis said of his early touchdown. "That was an easy score right there. It doesn't get any better than that to start us off."
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Thomas Jones had a 3-yard touchdown run as the Jets (5-6) won at home for the first time since beating Tennessee in Week 3, sending the Panthers (4-7) to their second straight loss.
New York can't celebrate for long, though, with a game against Buffalo in Toronto on Thursday night. The Jets won for just the second time in eight games.
"We're rolling now and we can't think about a month ago," said Sanchez, who left for four plays after injuring his left leg. "We've got to think about now."
Sanchez finished 13 of 17 for 154 yards and an interception in the first game since coach Rex Ryan took a more active role in the offense. The coach and quarterback established a color-coded system that would help make the rookie more aware of the task at hand.
"You see what happens when I play smart," Sanchez said. "I don't know how to explain it, but it works."
New York's win didn't come without some tense moments. With the Jets leading 14-3, Sanchez scrambled to the right sideline on first-and-10 from New York's 46 and was tackled out of bounds by Richard Marshall after an 8-yard gain.
He stayed down for a few moments as the trainers checked out his left knee.