Instant Impact: New York Jets 35 Indianapolis Colts 9
It's always good to just sit back and watch your football team just bully their opponent around the field for 60 minutes. That's just what the Jets did to the Colts in their 35-9 trouncing at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
In their easiest victory against the Colts since their 41-0 playoff drubbing of Peyton Manning in 2003, this game was a flashback to a time when the Colts were the whipping boys of the AFC East for most of the years between Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning.
The Jets didn't have to do much today—just simply give the ball to Shonn Greene and get out of his way. Mark Sanchez didn't have huge stats, but nine of his 11 completions either resulted in a first down or touchdown.
The defense played a soft zone by design, and that allowed Andrew Luck to rack up some yardage in the passing game. It also forced him into a number of mistakes and only a 50 percent completion rate.
Not that they tried to run the ball much at all, but the Colts averaged less than two yards per attempt on Sunday when they did attempt to.
I guess Las Vegas' three-and-a-half point spread was a little off.
Today's Instant Impact is a happy one, as the Jets sit at 3-3 while the Colts and Andrew Luck look like they have a long, long way to go to just become average.
Champ of the Game: Shonn Greene
This is indisputable. Shonn Greene was a man among boys, rushing for 161 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged five yards a carry over 32 attempts. The Colts had no answer for Greene, with many of his runs ending with Colts laying on their back. A dominant performance that was one of the best in the NFL in Week 6.
Daily News reporter Manish Mehta said via Twitter that it was just the second time a Jets running back ever rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns in a game. Emerson Boozer did it as well exactly 40 years ago Monday.
Chump of the Game: Jeff Cumberland
Patience is wearing thin with Cumberland. He was perhaps the only Jet to play poorly this game. The only pass thrown his way was a difficult catch, but one that an NFL tight end needs to make. He totally blew a blocking assignment later in the game, allowing Sanchez to be sacked for the only time. On one additional attempt at a block, Cumberland had a strangle hold on Colts defensive end Jerry Hughes and still couldn't prevent him from hitting Sanchez.
Defensive Star: Muhammad Wilkerson
Wilkerson moved inside in place of Sione Pouha and Kenrick Ellis and had one of his best games of the year. The Colts had no room to run whatsoever, thanks largely to Wilkerson's presence. He had a strip sack of Andrew Luck late in the game and was in the backfield a number of other times. Wilkerson finished with seven tackles, five of which were solo.
Offensive Star: Stephen Hill
Aside from Greene, no Jet really stood out. Sanchez managed a good game and the offensive line played extremely well, but the offensive star goes to Hill. Hill had only three catches, but two of them went for first downs and the other was for a touchdown.
Hill's touchdown came on an excellent route and a fine catch of a perfect pass. He lined up on the left side of the formation, cut right across the back of the end zone and reversed his direction on a dime to make the catch coming back to his left. That's the type of athleticism that caused many draft pundits to label Hill as a first-round talent.
Special Teams Stars: Tim Tebow and Nick Bellore
Now that everyone knows these fake punts are coming, the Jets are going to have to get creative. Bellore and Tebow did just that on a beautifully designed fake punt. The entire Colts punt defense bit on Tebow, allowing Bellore to sneak out and make the wide open grab.
McKnight appeared to injure his hand or wrist on his 61-yard run and Bilal Powell suffered what looked to be an upper-body injury as well. Neither returned to the game and no updates were available immediately following the game.
Turning Point of the Game: Joe McKnight's run
With 5:30 left to go in the third quarter, the Jets still just had a two-possession lead at 21-6. McKnight then broke off a 61-yard run to the Colts six-yard line, setting up Greene's second touchdown of the game, which came two plays later.
How many years will it take Andrew Luck to match Mark Sanchez's accomplishment of getting to two straight AFC title games?
The touchdown made it 28-6 and effectively ended the afternoon for the Colts. It wouldn't have been possible without McKnight's run, the longest since a Thomas Jones 71-yarder in 2009.
The Rookie Report
The rookies had their finest day as a group for the Jets and helped the team overcome key injuries.
Hill's production has already been discussed. It was a nice return from his hamstring injury.
Quinton Coples finally had a presence in the backfield, recording 1.5 sacks. His facemask penalty can be excused now since it had no impact on the outcome of game.
Antonio Allen got his first career start and first career sack. He could continue to play a larger role going forward.
Demario Davis registered one tackle and came close to making some plays in the backfield. It looks like his first career sack will be coming soon.
Best Coaching Move: Keeping things simple
The Jets had such a mismatch against the Colts with their running game that the coaches decided to just keep things simple. There are so many times where coaching staffs will outsmart themselves and over-coach a game when a simple game plan will do. This was one of those cases when all the Jets had to do was jam the ball down the Colts' throats and trick Luck into making mistakes. They did both and it led to an easy win.
Joe Namath's Tweet of the Game
Jets played well against an opponent that didn't.— Joe Namath (@RealJoeNamath) October 14, 2012
NFL Personality Tweet of the Game: Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports
After a phantom personal foul negated an apparent Antonio Cromartie touchdown.
Huge call in Jets game negates a pick 6 for Cromartie. Wow. If replacement refs made this call people would be irate— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 14, 2012
Great Quote From the Booth
"Shonn Greene took advantage every time [the Colts] were blocked, he made plays on his own, we've seen that, and the biggest thing was that he ran with conviction. Conviction, that translates to power when running the football," Phil Simms, CBS color commentator.
The Refs Blew This One
A personal foul call against Aaron Maybin erased Antonio Cromartie's touchdown off the board. The Jets were lucky enough to convert the turnover into a touchdown anyway, but they shouldn't have been put in that position.
Replays showed that there was nothing remotely illegal about Maybin's block as he was clearing a path for Cromartie into the end zone. CBS color man Phil Simms agreed that there was nothing illegal about the block.
Mark Sanchez Instant Impact Approval Rating
Mark Sanchez Instant Impact Approval Rating
Week 5: 65.7 (Texans)
Week 4: 24.3 (49ers)
Week 3: 66.7 (Dolphins)
Week 2: 72.4 (Steelers)
Week 1: 98.9 (Bills)
Did You Notice?
Caleb Schlauderaff was activated for the first time in his career as insurance against a Nick Mangold injury.
The Jets announced their special teams out of the tunnel instead of their offense or defense.
Jets captains today were Dustin Keller, Brandon Moore, Davis, Schlauderaff and the newest Jet, Daniel Muir, who is a former Colt.
For the second straight week, the Jets won the coin toss and elected to defer.
Allen got the start in his first game active for the Jets. He drew Reggie Wayne on his first play and surrendered a 13-yard catch.
D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Austin Howard did a fine job on the Colts' defensive ends on Stephen Hill's touchdown. They rode Dwight Freeney and Jerry Hughes past Sanchez, allowing him to step up and make a perfect throw to Hill.
Maybin and David Harris applied pressure to Luck, forcing him to rush an inaccurate pass to Reggie Wayne on Cromartie's interception.
Keller didn't do much in the passing game, but he had a tremendous seal block on Hughes to spring Greene for his first touchdown.
On Allen's sack, the Colts sent five receivers into the pattern. Cromartie, Wilson, Harris, Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant all had perfect coverage, giving Allen time to make the sack. Calvin Pace and Maybin were just a step behind Allen in getting to Luck.
Colts running back Mewelde Moore was responsible for Bellore on the converted fake punt. He bit badly when Tebow took off running in the opposite direction.
Mangold and Moore had a big push on a key Tebow third-down conversion the play before Jason Hill's touchdown.
Howard, Moore and Mangold opened a nice passing lane for Sanchez to hit Hill, who had a step on cornerback Jerraud Powers.
Ferguson, Mangold and Chaz Schilens all had key blocks to help spring McKnight for his 61-yard gain. Colts cornerback Darius Butler actually hit McKnight in the backfield, but missed the tackle.
The Colts didn't pick up a single first down on the ground, but did have 15 through the air.
The Jets were penalized eight times for 110 yards while the Colts had just three penalties for 27 yards.
The Jets scored touchdowns on all five of their trips inside the 20-yard line.
What This Means Now
It means that through six games, the schedule still continues to hold form. The Jets have trounced the Colts and Bills, two teams they are highly superior to and they beat a solid Dolphins squad in Miami. They also lost three games in which they were decided underdogs.
The Jets remain right in the mix for a playoff spot as the season starts to creep towards the midway point. Besides the two games against the Patriots and their Week 10 matchup against the Seahawks, the Jets should be favored in their remaining games. It's up to them to take care of business the way they did today.
The Jets take that annual fun trip up to New England to renew acquaintances with Bill, Tom and the rest of the New England Patriots. With the Patriots loss to the Seahawks and wins by the Bills and Dolphins, the entire AFC East now stands at 3-3. If the Jets can beat the Pats, that would give the Jets a 3-0 record in the AFC East, which would be huge in such a tight race.
The Jets are 2-3 in their last five trips to New England, which is a pretty decent success rate, all things considered.
The Jets-Patriots all-time series is tied at 51-51-1. In case you were wondering, the lone tie came in 1966 when Joe Namath led the Jets to 17 unanswered fourth-quarter points in a 24-24 contest in Fenway Park.
Look for RC Cos' Instant Impact immediately following every Jets game this year. For even more analysis and for all Jets' breaking news, follow the B/R Jets Report on Twitter: @BR Jets_Report.
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