Patriots

Sanchez starts slow, but builds on success

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Sanchez starts slow, but builds on success

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After an abysmal performance in a loss to the Ravens in Week 1 (10-for-21, 74 yards, 0 TD), conventional wisdom was that Mark Sanchez needed to get something going early against the Patriots this Sunday.

He didn't, and he didn't record a first down until midway through the second quarter.

The Jets quarterback had just one drive in the first quarter and he opened it with a near-interception. He sandwiched a five-yard hand-off to Shonn Greene between another incompletion for a more underwhelming start than even imagined. Total time of possession? 62 seconds. It wasn't all Sanchez' fault; the Jets defense couldn't get off the field.But in his limited time on thefield,Sanchez looked as inept as he had against Baltimore.

But, slowly and surely, he shook it off.

The difference in Mark Sanchez between the first and second quarters was obvious. Example? At one point, the Patriots had nine first downs to New York's zero. At the half it was 12-10, Pats.And Sanchez enteredhalftime with respectable numbers: 12-for-16 for 121 yards and a touchdown, brought in by Braylon Edwards.

Some of the passes were still subpar.A second-and-8 ball he threw at LaDainian Tomlinson's feet when the running back was wide open in the flat inside the Patriots 10. Both of the sacks -- the first inflicted by Gerard Warren, the second by Tully Banta-Cain -- were probably avoidable.

But Sanchezmovedthe chains. His confidence grew. On a different second-and-eight in the same drive, the Patriots defensive line flushed Sanchez out of the pocket and he was forced to scramble. Instead of looking skittish as he so often did against Baltimore, he kept his head and created,shoveling a throw toTomlinson for nine yards and a first down.

Tomlinson and Shonn Greene were there for Sanchez on what running game the Jets attempted. But it was Edwards and Dustin Keller who helped Sanchez get the offense in gear and develop the passing game. The receivers shared 7 of their quarterback's 16 completions for 42 and 47-yards, respectively.

What they did was give Sanchez reliable options. The plays weren't big and they weren't sexy, but they added up to 10 points to keep the Jets in the game. And they gave something, finally, for Mark Sanchez to build on.

And build he did. The quarterback completed 21-30 passes for 220 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions in New York's 28-14 win over the Patriots.

"This is just the beginning,'' Sanchez said. "It's still a long season. It's just tough when you lose that first game and it feels like you're 0-10. It's nice that it was a short week.''

A victory and some confidence were not his only gains. It sounded like Sanchez also gained some perspective.

"It was great, coming out this week and being myself and having fun. I told guys after the first drive of the game, 'Smile, have a little fun. Get animated out here,'" he said. "We're playing a kids game. We're grown men but we're playing a kids game and to treat it like that. Be smart, but have fun."

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

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In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Chiefs needed help in their leaky defensive backfield.

Darrelle Revis was ready to provide it.

So the AFC West leaders signed the seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback on Wednesday, a surprising midseason move involving a big-name player. Revis played for the New York Jets last season, but his massive salary cap number combined with a decline in performance led to his release in late February.

Still, the Chiefs were desperate to find a cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters. Terrence Mitchell, Kenneth AckerSteven Nelson and Phillip Gaines have all failed to hold down the spot.

"He's ready to go now," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in a conference call with reporters. "He was coming off the wrist (injury) and that he had last year, you know - this is when he was ready to go. We felt the same way. So it was a nice, mutual agreement that took place and here we are."

Reid did not rule out Revis playing Sunday against Buffalo, either.

Four days is typically a quick turnaround for a player to get acclimated to a team, especially one that hasn't played a snap since the end of last season. But Revis has a few things going for him: He has a vast amount of experience from which to draw, he is already familiar with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's system having played for him with the Jets, and the Chiefs really have nothing to lose.

They enter the game with the 28th-ranked pass defense in the league, hemorrhaging more than 250 yards per game. That includes a 417-yard performance by Oakland's Derek Carr a few weeks ago.

"We've had some young guys trying their hearts out and doing a nice job for us, too," Reid said. "It's a win-win. You get a veteran guy and you have some young guys that will continue to grow."

Perhaps coincidentally, the Chiefs visit the Meadowlands to face the Jets on Dec. 3.

Revis at one point was considered the best cornerback in the league, picking off 29 passes over 10 seasons with the Jets, Buccaneers and Patriots. He won a Super Bowl ring with New England.

He parlayed that into a five-year, $39 million contract to return to the Jets, but a wrist injury slowed him down a couple of years ago. Revis struggled most of last season, looking as if the 32-year-old had lost a step for the first time, and the Jets made the decision to let him go.

He's spent the past summer and fall keeping in shape.

"He's been around awhile. He looks great physically," Reid said, "but time does that, time will take a step away from you. But he's a smart guy, knows how to play the game and that becomes important at this point in his career. I'm not telling you he can't still run, he can run."

Good enough to help the Chiefs (6-4), who had dropped four of their past five?

"Darrelle is a proven player in this league and we are excited to add him," first-year Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. "He's had a Hall of Fame career and his leadership and playing experience will be valuable to our defense."

That may be where he is most beneficial: His experience. The Chiefs have little veteran presence in their secondary after safety Eric Berry was lost to a season-ending injury.

"You're talking about one of the all-time great players at that position," Reid said. "It's just a matter of getting him back in the swing of things and seeing where he's at. He's excited to be here. We are excited to have him. I would think his role would be to step in and be a starter."

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski both sat out of the entirety of Wednesday's practice at Gillette Stadium. 

Brady is dealing with an Achilles injury, per the injury report released by the Patriots. The Boston Herald has reported that Brady will play despite the issue. It's unclear when exactly Brady suffered the injury, but Brady was hit low by Raiders pass-rusher Khalil Mack in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and Mack was called for a roughing-the-passer penalty.

Gronkowski, like teammate David Andrews, is dealing with an illness. Patrick Chung, who left Sunday's game briefly, has an ankle issue. 

Here's the full injury report for both the Patriots and Dolphins . . . 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
C David Andrews (illness)
QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (knee)
TE Marellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

MIAMI DOLPHINS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Stephone Anthony (quadriceps)
G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
QB Jay Cutler (concussion)
DE William Hayes (back)
T Laremy Tunsill (illness)

FULL PARTICIPATION
RB Senorise Perry (knee)
S Michael Thomas (knee)