The New York Jets got themselves a statement win in primetime by knocking off the Indianapolis Colts 20-7 tonight. This was a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated, as a sluggish Jets offense allowed the Colts to hang around despite their defense forcing five…yes five, turnovers. Regardless, the Jets took care of business late and showed they just may be a force to be reckoned with in a very jumbled AFC.
Offensively, it was the Brandon Marshall (10 targets, 7 catches, 101 yards, 1 TD) and Eric Decker (11 targets, 8 catches, 97 yards, 1 TD) show. The Jets top two receivers abused a beat up Colts secondary, despite a sometimes inconsistent performance from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was very much the hot/cold JR FItz we have nicknamed him tonight. After a quick start, the Jets offense was anemic for two plus quarters before coming to life in the first truly big spot they were put in all season.
After the Colts cut the lead to 10-7 mid way through the fourth, the Jets badly needed an answer and Fitzpatrick responded with a slant to Marshall, a 27 yard strike to Quincy Enunwa and then a touchdown pass to Marshall who carried three Colts defenders into the end-zone. It was quick, efficient and impressive work that all but ended the Colts chances of a comeback. Despite finishing with 101 yards on 27 carries, the Jets run game was more sluggish than expected tonight. Fitzpatrick shouldered a bigger load than expected and was a competent 22/34 for 244 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT.
So..so many turnovers. This is a Jets team that forced 28 turnovers in the 2013 and 2014 season COMBINED and has already forced 10 this season through two games. A Buster Skrine blitz forced a high pass leading to a Calvin Pryor interception. David Harris knocked the ball away from Andrew Luck on a scramble, which was scooped up by Darrelle Revis. Frank Gore was stripped by the invisible man near the goal line, which was also scooped by Revis. Late in the game, Revis continued his parade with the above interception (credit to Mo Wilkerson on the pressure, he was completely dominant tonight) and Marcus Gilchrist iced it with a late pick. Skrine and Harris deserve to be singled out for terrific individual performances, as both were all over the field and were instrumental in Andrew Luck’s ugly outing.
It was frustrating to see the Jets allow the Colts hang around but it is also hard to complain with such an opportunistic performance. When the game got close in the 4th quarter, the Jets responded in a composed manner and were able to lock up a critical victory. They are now 2-0 in the AFC and heading home to face a 0-2 Eagles team who has an offensive line in shambles. The Jets also have the benefit of knowing at some point this season Sheldon Richardson, Devin Smith, Stevan Ridley, Lorenzo Mauldin and Dee Milliner will return to the roster.
Eric Decker did bang up his knee tonight but the early word from him is that he does not think it is severe. We will have further information after his MRI tomorrow but if Decker were to miss time, Jeremy Kerley could see some action in the slot or it could open up more immediate playing time for Devin Smith.
On to the Eagles…