The New York Jets pass the biggest test of their young season with a 20-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. The lead-up to the game was the Jets’ tough defense and their ground-and-pound running game vs. the Colts and their high octane offense and injured defense, but the game told a bit of a different tale in this one.
The high octane offense of the Colts only mustered a measly 7 points and Andrew Luck was really never able to get it going against the Jets’ defense. Luck finished the day with 250 yards with a 1 touchdown to 3 interceptions ratio in an ugly performance.
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The Jets certainly took a few pages out of the Buffalo Bills’ playbook from Week 1 which included a heavy dose of exotic blitz packages that stifled the Colts’ passing game all night long.
What analysts thought the Jets would take advantage of the Colts and their injured defense by having a game plan that involved a heavy dosage of Chris Ivory. But shockingly enough, the Colts’ defense seemed committed to stopping the Jets’ rushing attack and forced their offense to adapt.
And adapt they did, with Ryan Fitzpatrick accumulating over 244 yards through the air and his chemistry with Eric Decker was obvious. With Brandon Marshall matched up with lock down cornerback Vontae Davis; Fitzpatrick went to Decker early and often.
Sep 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) scores a touchdown against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Jalil Brown (25) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Decker hauled in 8 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. In the second half, Marshall took over finishing with 7 receptions for 101 yards and a nasty hustle touchdown driving it in to put the Jets up big. But the offense wasn’t the star of the game it was the defense for the Jets.
Only two weeks into the regular season for the Jets and they’re already light-years ahead of last year’s squad, just look at the numbers. The Jets forced 5 turnovers in this one and they forced another 5 turnovers vs. the Cleveland Browns. Typically the team that wins the turnover battle wins the game and that has been the case for the Jets through two games this season.
The Jets didn’t get a lot of credit or respect for their Week 1 clubbing of the Browns and why would they? Everyone (well mostly everyone) expected the Jets to come out of the gates and beat the Browns easily and they did. The real test for the Jets was Week 2 vs. an AFC powerhouse and Super Bowl contender in the Colts and they answered the bell.
The Jets proved that they aren’t the 4-12 team they were last year; beyond the physical changes to the roster, there’s a new attitude that this team desperately needed. There’s discipline which is something they lacked under Rex Ryan; every penalty or turnover in the off-season that led to those extra laps around the practice field is paying off in a big way.
The Jets will look to continue their winning streak next week when they return to MetLife Stadium against the dysfunctional Philadelphia Eagles.