JETS 35 – COLTS 9
It’s “Greene Day” as veteran RB runs all over young Colts in Jets rout.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ- Now that’s how to ground-and-pound your way to a victory. The Jets were clicking on all levels in today’s win and played a near perfect game, with the only exception being too many penalties, but the running game was easily the biggest reason why the Jets were able to coast to an easy 35-9 victory. All season long the Jets have struggled to stop the run and run the ball themselves, neither were an issue today as the Jets held the Colts to 41 yards rushing on 17 carries (2.4 yards per carry) and ran the ball a whopping 44 times for a total of 252 yards (5.7 yards a clip).
Shonn Greene has been on the receiving end of heavy criticism all season long, but today the War Machine was activated as he ran for 161 hard earned runs and three touchdowns. Greene has 32 carries (5.0 a carry) and ran tough and decisively as he executed spin moves and hard cuts to break a few big runs and continuously pick up positive yards.
“It was pretty nice to get a win, you know, I think it was 31-6 or something like that, it was nice to put points on the board and that’s what we want to do. We want to execute, stay on the field, keep the defense fresh and put points on the board.” Greene said, “My offensive line did a great job today, Lex (Hilliard) did a great job at fullback, the wide receivers blocked down field so as one offense and one unit we did a great job.”But Greene wasn’t alone, Powell rushed four times for 14 yards before coming out of the game with a shoulder injury and Joe McKnight once again flashed his dangerous play-making ability with a 61 yard run before he had to leave with an ankle injury. After the game Rex Ryan said they hadn’t yet received any updates on the injuries.
While it was the running game that carried this offense to such an impressive day, the Jets were also able to take advantage of the Colts through the air when they needed to. Mark Sanchez had a very efficient game, though not exactly gaudy stats, completing 11 of 18 passes for just 82 yards (7.5 yard per pass) and two touchdowns for a QB rating of 109.00, hitting seven different receivers. The total passing yards from Sanchez was quite small, but the Jets didn’t need anything more than that today as the running game was working as good as it has in years, plus the offense got help on a fake punt on fourth-and-11. The Colts looked ready for a Tebow run, but they were not prepared for the jump pass and Tebow hit a wide open Nick Bellore for 23 yards to set up a touchdown right before the half to give the Jets a 21-6.
Not to be outdone by the offense, the defense stepped up and shut down Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne in a big way. The coverage was good, but the key to stopping Luck today was the pressure the Jets put on him as he was constantly forced out of the pocket and throw passes before he was ready to. The Jets racked up four sacks for -23 yards, six QB hurries, two QB hits which lead to seven deflected passes, two interceptions and two fumbles.
Truly the only thing the Jets did today that wasn’t great were the penalties, 8 penalties for 110 yards. Normally that’s a great way to lose a game, but when the rest of the team plays so perfect you can survive a few bad penalties, even if two of them negated touchdowns by Cromartie.
“Those penalties were kind of…. I don’t know (laughing), but I mean they made the calls.” Cromartie said, “I just got to go back and look at it and make sure I clean it up in practice.”
Cromartie continues to play at a high level, had a pick that he returned for a touchdown that was called back due to a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty on Aaron Maybin and also had another interception return for a touchdown called back because of a holding penalty where Cromartie clearly held Wayne’s shoulder allowing him to make the pick.
“That was our gameplan. When we got a chance to get our hands on Reggie (Wayne) and try to confuse (Luck) at the same time. Try to take his number one read away before he makes throws to the other side (and) I think we did a great job with that….He’s (Luck) going to be great.” Cromartie said about Luck. “I think he makes the throws that he needs to make and he makes the right decisions.”
There’s no doubting Cromartie is right, Luck is going to be great, but today the Jets made him look like just another rookie as they harassed him and his receivers the entire game as Luck finished the day 22-44 (50 percent) for 280 yards, two picks and a lousy 51.3 QB rating.
The defense got some big contributions from their young defensive lineman as Muhammad Wilkerson had five tackles, including a couple big run stops and a sack, one deflected pass and a forced fumble and rookie Quinton Coples was disruptive on inside rushes and had, two QB hurries and 1.5 sacks, but on the second one he was also called for a facemask which gave the Colts a first down.
Last week the Jets hung tough against the Texans without five of their most important players, the game was in their clutches but they just couldn’t grab it, today the Jets grabbed this game by the throat immediately and never let the Colts get going. If the Jets can continue this upward performance and not suffer a letdown they will be on their way to being the team they always knew they could be, even if most people outside the locker room understandably had their doubts.
“It feels good to finally be able to do the things that play into the philosophy of what we want to do. Being able to run the ball and create a little separation with those receivers when we threw the ball.” Brandon Moore said, “I mean it’s (only) one game, but it feels good to know that if you do the things necessary that you’re capable of doing. You’ve heard people tell you you can’t do it, but it panned out for us today.”