Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets sent a simple message Sunday to their legions of doubters: How do you like us now?
The first-team offense that couldn't score a touchdown for an entire preseason set a franchise record for opening-day scoring in a 48-28 blowout of the Buffalo Bills.
"I knew we were really close in the preseason," Sanchez told reporters after the game. "Did I know it was 48 points? No, I didn't necessarily know that, but that's just a great day of execution."
After an early interception, Sanchez led the Jets to four scoring drives in the first half alone. Perhaps most promising of all was the emergence of Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill -- two young wideouts the Jets need to become instant contributors.
Kerley, who also returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown, opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown pass on a pretty fade throw by Sanchez. Hill, who seemed to drop every ball thrown his way during the preseason, finished with five catches for 89 yards and two scores.
But this day belonged to Sanchez, who finished 19-of-27 passing for 266 yards and three touchdowns. After an offseason of predictions that the fourth-year QB would be booed as fans called for Tim Tebow, we actually witnessed the opposite at the Meadowlands.
The Wildcat was a dud, and Sanchez powered an offense that silenced its critics ... at least for a week.