- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BALTIMORE | 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 preseason loss Monday night.

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 5:50 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 out of Southern California, went 3-for-8 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 middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

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