EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Darrelle Revis got the Jets' defence in the end zone for the first time this season and helped New York keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
Revis returned one of the Jets' four interceptions 67 yards for a touchdown and New York overcame an injury scare to quarterback Mark Sanchez before holding on to beat the Carolina Panthers 17-6 on Sunday.
Thomas Jones had a three-yard touchdown run as the Jets (5-6) won at home for the first time since beating Tennessee in Week 3, sending the Panthers (4-7) to their second straight loss.
Carolina had a chance late to make it a one-score game, but Dwayne Jarrett's 28-yard touchdown catch was wiped off the scoreboard when he was called for offensive pass interference. Kerry Rhodes, demoted in favour of Eric Smith, picked off Jake Delhomme on the next play for his second interception of the game to all but seal the win.
It didn't come without some tense moments, though. With the Jets leading 14-3, Sanchez scrambled to the right sideline on first-and-10 from New York's 46 and was tackled out of bounds by Richard Marshall after an eight-yard gain.
He stayed down for a few moments as the trainers checked out his left knee. Helped to the sideline, Sanchez put very little weight on the leg. He sat on a table, where he flexed his leg and then put a brace on. Sanchez was replaced by Kellen Clemens for the four plays, but came back on the next offensive series to cheers from the Meadowlands crowd.
On his first throw after returning, Sanchez was intercepted by Chris Gamble on a pass intended for Braylon Edwards. It appeared Carolina had cashed in on the turnover with a touchdown when Steve Smith came down with a 10-yard catch in the end zone, but Jets coach Rex Ryan challenged the call.
After a video review, the call was reversed. Referee Jerome Boger said Smith didn't have possession when he went out of bounds in the back of the end zone. It turned out to be a huge call because after another incompletion, the Panthers settled for a 28-yard field goal by John Kasay to make it 14-6 with 11:45 left.
Jay Feely, who missed from 48 yards earlier, kicked one from 47 yards with 3:39 remaining to give the Jets a 17-6 lead.
Sanchez finished 13 of 17 for 154 yards and the interception, while Delhomme was 13 of 33 for 126 yards and the four INTs. The Jets also held DeAngelo Williams to 40 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Revis gave the Jets a 7-0 lead on a fluke play midway through the first quarter. After converting three third downs on their opening drive, the Panthers had another shot on third-and-nine from the Jets 39. But Delhomme's pass deflected off Smith's lower leg and into the hands of Revis, who had a clear path to the end zone.
Kasay kicked a 40-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 10:11 left in the first half.
Revis had his second interception of the game late in the first half, but the Jets couldn't capitalize as Shonn Greene fumbled in Panthers territory and Carolina's Jon Beason recovered.
The Jets got the ball right back three plays later when Rhodes intercepted Delhomme. This time, New York took advantage of the turnover on Jones' three-yard touchdown run. After Edwards' nifty nine-yard sideline catch put the ball on the three-yard line, Jones took the handoff and went up the middle, stepped to his left and spun his way to the goal line before falling into the end zone to make it 14-3 with 28 seconds left.
The Jets came out in the second half and drove down the field. But they turned the ball over when Dustin Keller had a 16-yard catch and tried to stretch over the goal line but fumbled, stripped by Chris Harris. Richard Marshall recovered in the end zone for a touchback.