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.
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.’’
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 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.