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Sanchez learns frustrating lesson as Jets lose to Ravens, 24-23

The former USC quarterback making his first NFL start sees his first pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown, but he says he learned a lot in exhibition game.

August 25, 2009|Associated Press

It didn't take long for Mark Sanchez to find out what New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan already knew: The Baltimore Ravens have a wickedly efficient defense.

Vying to become the Jets' starting quarterback, Sanchez got off to a wretched start and finished with a flourish in a 24-23 exhibition loss Monday night at Baltimore.

Sanchez's first pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. His second pass was nearly picked off. On his final play, however, the rookie threw his first NFL touchdown pass -- a 19-yarder to running back Leon Washington with 5 minutes 50 seconds left in the second quarter.

"Not the best start on Monday night, but I learned quite a bit," Sanchez said at halftime. "I just want to get better."

Long after Sanchez departed, third-string quarterback Erik Ainge scored on a sneak with 22 seconds left to get the Jets to 24-23. Ryan called for a two-point conversion that failed.

Sanchez, drafted fifth overall from USC, was three for eight for 43 yards in his first NFL start.

He didn't experience success until the Ravens removed several players from the first-team defense, including linebacker Ray Lewis.

Kellen Clemens, who started New York's other exhibition, was five for 10 for 60 yards. Like Sanchez, he had an interception returned for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass.

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Rivers cashes in

Philip Rivers signed a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Chargers worth $93 million, with $38 million guaranteed.

A person familiar with the contract confirmed the numbers to the Associated Press but requested anonymity because the team did not release any figures. The deal goes through 2015.

Rivers is coming off his best pro season, when he threw 34 touchdown passes to tie former teammate Drew Brees for the NFL lead and break Hall of Famer Dan Fouts' Chargers record.

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Etc.

Shaun Hill has earned the nod as the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback, beating out Alex Smith. . . . Minnesota Vikings Coach Brad Childress said he expects Brett Favre to play the entire first half of Minnesota's next exhibition, at Houston next Monday. . . . Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer didn't participate in practice and is expected to sit out Thursday against the St. Louis Rams. . . . The Tennessee Titans released receiver Chris Davis, four days after he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Coach Jeff Fisher said Davis' injured left hamstring would not have allowed him to play before roster cutdowns. . . . Seattle Seahawks center Chris Spencer is out at least a month because of a torn thigh muscle.

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