DETROIT -- Mark Sanchez's screen pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown -- by a rookie who didn't start playing football until the year after Sanchez was drafted.
It was an immediate flashback to the problems Sanchez has had over the last couple years, but at least this time, he bounced back.
"I know I'm getting better at that," Sanchez said. "I think it comes with maturity and experience. You can't beat yourself up for a mistake."
Lions rookie Ziggy Ansah made an immediate impression when he intercepted Sanchez's pass and ran it back 14 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
"It's not going to stop there. I think he has a lot of great natural talent," Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. "He has great instincts for finding the ball and making plays."
Sanchez went 10 of 13 for 125 yards. Smith was 6 of 7 for 47 yards but did not lead any scoring drives.
Ansah grew up in Ghana, playing soccer and basketball. He put on football pads for the first time three years ago, and now the Lions hope he'll become a big part of their defense. Detroit took the 6-foot-5 defensive end with the No. 5 pick in this year's draft.
Ansah was able to get his hands up quickly when he intercepted Sanchez's pass, and his return to the end zone made it 7-0.
Sanchez is coming off two mistake-prone seasons in which he led the NFL with 52 turnovers in that span. His early interception against Detroit did not inspire confidence, but it's still not clear what the Jets have in Smith.
"I thought all three quarterbacks looked good when the protection held up," Ryan said.
Smith was able to walk back to the tunnel under his own power, and Ryan said he'd be looked at Saturday. There was only one major injury in the game -- Jets running back John Griffin fractured a leg.
"He was already low, he was already short, so he just made it kind of easy on me," Bush said. "It was an easy decision."
Detroit must finally replace longtime kicker Jason Hanson, who retired. David Akers made a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter, and Norwegian sensation Havard Rugland added kicks of 49 and 50 yards in the second half. Rugland became a hit because of a YouTube video he posted last year that showed him kicking a football to a friend on a boat in a lake, among other tricks.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press