Sanchez outdueled Tom Brady with a career-high three touchdown passes and the Jets overcame the loss of Darrelle Revis to beat the New England Patriots 28-14 on Sunday.
Coming off a week of questions about their performance on the field and their behavior off it, the Jets earned a victory they sorely needed against their AFC East rivals.
Six days after an awful outing in a season-opening loss to Baltimore, Sanchez looked every bit the part of the franchise quarterback. The second-year player completed a career-high 21 passes on 30 attempts for 220 yards and connected with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller for scores.
The victory over the Patriots (1-1) ended a tumultuous week for the Jets (1-1), who were investigated by the NFL for the treatment of a female reporter at practice last weekend. Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled that the Jets' conduct was unprofessional, and owner Woody Johnson apologized to TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz.
If the Jets were distracted, they certainly didn't show it in this one.
They may have some more concerns now, however. Revis, New York's Pro Bowl cornerback, left in the second quarter after Randy Moss made a jaw-dropping, one-handed 34-yard touchdown catch. Revis immediately grabbed his left leg and left the game.
Cotchery caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez with 38 seconds left in the third quarter, and Edwards caught the 2-point conversion toss to give the Jets their first lead of the game at 21-14.
LaDainian Tomlinson had a pretty 31-yard run, showing plenty of zip, to put the Jets at the Patriots 4 and set up the score.
Helped by two pass interference calls on Darius Butler, the Jets took a 28-14 lead on Keller's 1-yard catch with 6:09 remaining.
With Brady trying to muster a comeback against his rivals, Jason Taylor sacked him and knocked the ball out of his hands with just over 4 minutes left and Bryan Thomas recovered.
The Jets then ran the ball out to seal the victory.
Brady finished 20 for 36 for 248 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Moss, who took exception to Revis calling him a "slouch" in January, made an incredible catch in front of the cornerback to become the fourth NFL player to reach 150 career touchdowns.
After a 46-yard completion to Aaron Hernandez on third-and-10, Brady found Moss, who reached up and snagged the pass over his shoulder with his right hand. The touchdown -- with Revis trailing behind him -- made it 14-7 with 53 seconds left in the half.
The Jets had tied it at 7 on a 10-yard touchdown catch by Edwards, who leaped above Butler on a fade route into the end zone and held onto the ball as the two dropped to the turf.
Edwards was called for taunting after he danced in front of Butler, but the Jets were just happy to get into the end zone after their miserable 10-9 loss in the opener.
Edwards had a good drive, catching three third-down passes, including the touchdown. The 12-play drive was helped by an unnecessary roughness penalty on Tully Banta-Cain, who shoved Cotchery after he went out of bounds on a 3-yard catch, putting the ball at the Patriots 28.
Sanchez was 7 for 7 for 64 yards on that scoring drive.
Nick Folk kicked a 49-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to make it 14-10.
After Antonio Cromartie picked off Brady's long pass to Moss at the 3-yard line, Sanchez led a solid 10-play scoring drive that was capped by Folk's 36-yard field goal that made it 14-13 with 4:53 remaining in the third quarter.
Wes Welker, who caught 15 passes in the Patriots' last game against the Jets, had a 6-yard touchdown catch to give New England a 7-0 lead 1:43 into the second quarter. The score capped a 15-play drive that could've been stopped a lot earlier if not for a foolish unnecessary roughness penalty by Eric Smith.
Welker finished with six catches for 38 yards in this game, while Moss was held to two catches.