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Sanchez and Jets suffer hard knocks

Associated Press / August 28, 2010

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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, last night at East Rutherford, N.J.

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 week, 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, which suffered a blow when linebacker Calvin Pace injured his foot in the third quarter.

Ryan said Pace has “something with his foot.’’ Pace, who led the team with eight sacks last season, could miss a few weeks, said Ryan.

Saints pick another winner
The Saints may have plucked another exciting young running back from the ranks of the undrafted. Rookie Chris Ivory turned a swing pass into a tackle-breaking, zigzagging, 76-yard score in host New Orleans’ 36-21 preseason victory over the Chargers last night. Ivory’s 45 yards rushing and 76 yards receiving were game highs. Essentially, he played like Pierre Thomas, who joined the Saints as an undrafted rookie in 2007. Drew Brees set the tone for New Orleans (2-1) with 240 yards passing, including touchdowns to Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem. Philip Rivers led two touchdown drives for the Chargers (1-2). His 167 yards passing included a 9-yard TD toss to Malcom Floyd. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma injured his right groin in the third quarter. After trainers examined him, Vilma jogged to the locker room . . . The Falcons were stout against the run, dug in on third down and came up with a big takeaway in a 16-6 victory over the Dolphins at Miami. Atlanta gave up only a field goal while Miami starting quarterback Chad Henne was in the game . . . Chiefs rookie linebacker Cameron Sheffield was injured while making a tackle and was carted off the field after being immobilized in the Eagles’ 20-17 victory at Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs said Sheffield had a neck injury and was being evaluated.

Colts’ Brackett OK
A person with knowledge of the results said Colts linebacker Gary Brackett is not expected to miss significant time after X-rays on his injured right hand were negative.

Brackett was injured during Thursday’s 59-24 loss at Green Bay when he appeared to hit his hand on the helmet of teammate Philip Wheeler. He signed a five-year, $33 million contract in March.

Running back Joseph Addai was also injured, sustaining a concussion in the third quarter trying to tackle Robert Francois after the Packers linebacker scooped up a fumble by Peyton Manning.

“It’s nothing,’’ Addai said after the game. “I was fine. I just got a little dizzy, but I was cool.’’

Time for Big Ben
Ben Roethlisberger is expected to be the Steelers’ starter for the second straight week, though coach Mike Tomlin said his top three quarterbacks will play tomorrow in Denver.

Although Tomlin declined to identify which quarterback would open the game, Roethlisberger got extensive work with the starters in practice all week.

After Roethlisberger is pulled, Dennis Dixon will get his first significant playing time with the starters. Dixon is expected to be Byron Leftwich’s backup when the season starts and Roethlisberger’s suspension begins.

Bradford to start again
Sam Bradford will finish the preseason as the Rams starting quarterback, partly because veteran A.J. Feeley might not be ready to play.

Bradford had a big game in his first start, going 15 of 22 for 189 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 36-35 victory at New England Thursday night. The overall No. 1 draft pick from Oklahoma played the first half and completed his first six passes, earning another start on merit.

Receiver Donnie Avery tore ligaments in his right knee late in the first half. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Avery, who caught two passes for 48 yards in the game, would undergo surgery after swelling in the knee subsides.

Jaguars resting Jones-Drew
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is done for the preseason. Jones-Drew, who missed three days of practice last week, didn’t make the trip to Tampa for tonight’s game against the Buccaneers. Jones-Drew’s agent, Adisa Bakari, said the Jaguars are resting the Pro Bowler the final two exhibition games for “precautionary reasons.’’ He adds that Jones-Drew will be ready for the season opener . . . The Lions placed defensive end Jared DeVries on injured reserve, meaning he will miss a second consecutive season because of injury.

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