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Mark Sanchez re-starts career with huge night for Eagles

The Sanchize lives.

Nearly two years removed from his last start with the New York Jets, Mark Sanchez was a rousing success Monday night as he began his second incarnation. It’s amazing what a change of scenery and a quarterback-friendly system, not to mention a good supporting cast, can do for a passer. This was the Sanchez from 2010, when he still was the Jets' golden boy. He exuded positive energy, appearing confident and decisive. The bad body language and dazed looks that marked his final days with the Jets were gone. He looked like a kid again, having fun for the Philadelphia Eagles, who crushed the Carolina Panthers 45-21.

Released last March by the Jets, Sanchez left New York with physical and mental scars but has re-invented himself under Chip Kelly, the quarterback whisperer. There's no telling how this will play out over the remainder of the season, but for one shining night on the big stage, Sanchez reminded everyone he used to have a bright future before he gained a dark past. He was everything he was on his way to becoming with the Jets -- that is, before the interceptions and distractions (Tim Tebow) and criticism broke him. He needed to get away, and he landed in the ideal place.

"This is like Escape From New York," ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said during the telecast, alluding to the old Kurt Russell movie from 1981.

Starting for the injured Nick Foles, Sanchez passed for two touchdowns and 332 yards, the fourth-highest total of his career. He finished with a 102.5 passer rating and led the first-place Eagles on five touchdown drives. There were no Butt Fumbles, no turnover of any kind. He had a couple of near-interceptions, but let's not get picky. All things considered, he was terrific.

This had to be an agonizing night for Jets' fans, seeing the former face of their franchise succeed in another uniform -- a sick feeling exacerbated by the Jets' uncertain future at quarterback. The Geno Smith experiment failed and, even though Michael Vick has done a credible job, he's nobody's future at the age of 34. This isn't a criticism of the Jets' front office for unloading Sanchez -- both sides needed a divorce -- but it's just typical of the franchise's bad luck at the most important position. Hey, maybe they can re-sign Sanchez after the season; he will be a free agent.

Sanchez has a chance to succeed in Kelly's system because he fits in an up-tempo system. Even with the Jets, he always played his best in no-huddle, hurry-up situations. There are fewer plays to know, fewer reads to make. Everything is quick, quick, quick, cutting down on the decision making and allowing Sanchez to play in an organized, schoolyard-type mode. He played well in the pocket, avoiding rushers with slide steps. He saw the field well and threw with velocity, showing no ill effects from his shoulder surgery. He also had terrific pass protection and, for a change, a supporting cast that made plays for him. He benefitted from great field position thanks to the Eagles' defense and special teams.

In his previous prime-time appearance, Week 14 in 2012, Sanchez was an absolute wreck in a Monday night game against the Tennessee Titans. He committed five turnovers, lost his job, and looked shot. Two years later, he was a different player. Whether you cheered or booed him in New York, it's hard not to feel good for the Sanchize. We all love a good comeback story,