Jets take early lead sans Sanchez

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- One of the New York Jets' keys to beating the Cincinnati Bengals is to keep the ball out of Mark Sanchez's hands as much as possible.

The more the rookie from Southern California has to throw in a single-digit wind chill, the more trouble the Jets will be in. And the safest way for the Jets to do steer clear of that situation is to play from ahead.

On Sunday night's opening drive, the Jets took a lead thanks to a play that not only kept Sanchez from throwing it, but also touching it.

Receiver and former college quarterback Brad Smith too a direct snap, made a couple cuts and dashed 57 yards to the Bengals' 1-yard line.

A play later, Thomas Jones plowed into the end zone to cap a seven-play, 72-yard possession.