The Jets came into week 6 looking to put together back-to-back wins after a three-game losing streak threatened to derail their season.
New York took advantage of an injury-depleted Indianapolis Colts roster and pulled away with a 42-34 win, Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Jets improved to 3-3 on the season, the Colts dropped to 1-5.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was 24 for 30 with 280 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse led the team with nine catches for 94 yards. Kicker Jason Myers connected on each of his seven field goal attempts.
It didn’t take long for the Jets to get on the scoreboard in this one. They won the coin toss but deferred to the Colts. On the second play from scrimmage, Luck’s pass attempt went off the hands of running back Marlon Mack and eventually into the hands of cornerback Morris Claiborne. He ran it back 17 yards to give the Jets an early lead.
But Luck and the Colts bounced right back with a 75-yard, 5-play drive. Luck hit Marcus Johnson for a 34-yard touchdown. The extra point tied the game, 7-7. It was Luck’s first pass this season which went longer than 30 yards.
Jets kicker Jason Myers drilled a 30-yard field goal to give them a 10-7 lead. But, after getting the football back, Darnold was picked off by Malik Hooker on a throw intended for Robby Anderson. It was a poor throw from Darnold which set the Colts up with solid field position as the first quarter came to a close.
Indianapolis would capitalize on Darnold’s interception with a 21-yd field goal from the great Adam Vinatieri. The Jets turned it over again when wide receiver Quincy Enunwa fumbled after a 14-yard completion from Darnold. Luck and the Colts offense went back on the field but the Jets defense held them to another Vinatieri field goal for a 13-10 lead.
New Jack City
The turnovers were coming fast and furious at this point. Jets safety Jamal Adams forced a fumble from Colts running back Ronald Turbin. Linebacker Jordan Jenkins recovered it for the Jets, it set them up on the Colts’ 43-yard line.
Darnold did a great job early taking what the Colts’ defense gave them underneath. He drove the Jets downfield and capped it off with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Terrelle Pryor. The extra point gave Gang Green a 17-13 advantage.
The Jets “New Jack City” secondary continued to give Luck fits. Avery Williamson took a Luck interception, tipped by Adams, and ran it back 36 yards to set the Jets up deep in Colts territory at the two-minute warning.
New York would get two more field goals before halftime and took a 10-point lead into the locker room.
Efficiency of Sam Darnold
How good is Sam Darnold? This question gets asked at least once a week and Darnold continues to deliver.
On the last drive of the half, Darnold ran a two-minute offense for the Jets. From the shotgun, and under pressure, he hit Jermaine Kearse for 22-yards. Darnold stepped up from the pressure and delivered a strike. Then, without hesitation, he ran the rest of the offense up to the line of scrimmage to set up a spike on the next play which stopped the clock. Myers drilled the field goal as time expired.
In less than 15 seconds, Darnold showed his awareness, arm strength, and poise. It’s plays like that which is why the Jets selected him third overall in this year’s draft. Head coach Todd Bowles gave him a big pat on the helmet when he came off the field.
Darnold threw another touchdown pass on the opening drive of the second half. He found rookie tight end Chris Herndon for a 32-yard connection in the end zone.
The Colts kept it close with touchdown passes from Luck to tight ends Eric Ebron and Erik Swoope. But the Jets’ defense, and Myers, kept them at arm’s length for the rest of the game.
Luck was 19 for 36 passing, for 240 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. He was sacked three times by the Jets’ defense. It was another long day in the pocket for Luck, he’s on a record-setting pace for completions and attempts in a season.
The Colts were without offensive weapons T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle. Luck’s talent kept them in the game, but they have to get him more help.
To go along with three sacks, the Jets’ defense also forced four turnovers.
The Jets will host the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. It will be the third of a three-game homestand.
- Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa left the game in the first half with an ankle injury, he did not return.
- Safety Marcus Maye also left the game with a reported hand injury.
- The Jets honored their 1968 Championship team with a special halftime ceremony. Jets legend Joe Namath spoke on behalf of the team and offered words of encouragement for the current team.
- Legendary sportswriter Dave Anderson was honored in the press box with a moment of silence before the game. Anderson recently passed away, he was 89 years old.