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Colts vs. Jets: Score and Twitter Reaction for Monday Night Football

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 05:   Dwayne Allen #83 celebrates his second touchdown in the first quarter against the New York Jets with teammate  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 5, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts would be Super Bowl contenders instead of a .500 team if they played the hapless New York Jets every week.

Andrew Luck and Co. destroyed the Jets 41-10 on Monday at MetLife Stadium.

The quarterback threw two touchdown passes to Dwayne Allen on the Colts' opening two drives, and the visitors never looked back.

Indianapolis moved to 6-6 on the season and into a three-way tie with the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans atop the AFC South. The Jets fell deeper into last place in the AFC East at 3-9 and drew some sarcasm from Hall of Famer Joe Namath:

Joe Namath @RealJoeNamath

Hey maybe the Jets didn't practice this week... They're just rusty

Luck finished 22-of-28 for 278 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions after missing the team's Week 12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers with a concussion. He wasn't the only dominant performer for Indianapolis, as Allen tallied 72 receiving yards and three touchdowns. T.Y. Hilton also added a game-high 146 receiving yards, while Frank Gore ran for 79 yards.

NFL Research noted Allen joined some impressive company with his performance:

NFL Research @NFLResearch

Dwayne Allen is the first player with 3 receiving TD in the first half on Monday Night Football since Jerry Rice in Week 16, 1995 vs Vikings

As for the Jets, the most noteworthy development was head coach Todd Bowles' decision to turn to Bryce Petty in the second half after starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went 5-of-12 for 81 yards with an interception.

Petty finished 11-of-25 for 135 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions, and no New York running back tallied more than 25 yards on the ground.

While it made sense for the Jets to start preparing for the future by evaluating Petty, Brian Costello of the New York Post didn't hesitate to criticize the head coach for the team's lackluster outing: "And I'd say Todd Bowles is now officially on the hot seat. This is an embarrassing performance."

The Colts wasted little time establishing themselves. Luck completed all three of his passes on their opening drive, the last of which went to Allen for a seven-yard score.

Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star called it "probably the easiest 7-play, 53-yard touchdown drive" fans will see, while Mike Wells of ESPN.com added, "Like I said, give Luck a clean pocket and he's going to have a field day."

Costello pointed out it was business as usual for the Jets:

Brian Costello @BrianCoz

Jets fail to cover the tight end. Stop me if you've heard that before #nyj

New York's struggles against tight ends were clear again on Indianapolis' second possession, when Luck found Allen for a 21-yard touchdown after connecting with Hilton for 34 yards to set up the score.

The Colts responded to NFL Network's inquiry about whether anyone was going to cover Allen:

Indianapolis Colts @Colts

Fine by us. https://t.co/A3vWdpCgB5

It appeared as though the game was already over, especially after Indianapolis linebacker Edwin Jackson sucked the energy from the stadium with a monster hit in the backfield to stuff a 3rd-and-1.

The NFL shared footage of the play:

NFL @NFL

💪💪💪💪 #ForTheShoe #INDvsNYJ https://t.co/TMYByCUJde

New York finally garnered some momentum thanks to Matt Forte. The running back picked up four yards on the ground and seven through the air to give the offense some breathing room from its 3-yard line and later hauled in a 40-yard reception to move the Jets into the red zone.

The drive stalled, New York committed its third personal foul of the game and it settled for a 38-yard field goal by Nick Folk.

Indianapolis answered with a 53-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri on the ensuing drive, which made some history, as Colts assistant director of communications Matt Conti and NFL on ESPN illustrated:

Matt Conti @ColtsConti

W/ that catch @TYHilton13 has 1,000 yds for the 4th straight yr, joining Harrison & Wayne as only players in @Colts history to reach in 4yrs

NFL on ESPN @ESPNNFL

Frank Gore just passed Tony Dorsett for 8th on the all-time rushing list. https://t.co/Xu3qhXsmlD

Indianapolis then buried the Jets with a 70-yard touchdown drive that Luck capped with a 23-yard completion to Allen.

"That last one looked like Luck targeted him just to make a point," Eric Single of Sports Illustrated tweeted.

The NFL passed along a replay of the connection:

NFL @NFL

Did you start @dallen83 in fantasy? Because he just scored his THIRD TD of the half! #INDvsNYJ https://t.co/XIrOd0aolA

The Colts had a golden opportunity to add insult to injury following a Darius Butler interception before halftime, but Jack Doyle fumbled out of the end zone while extending the ball toward the goal line.

Even with the miscue, Indianapolis held a 24-3 lead.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

First half summary Just End The Season #MNF #INDvsNYJ https://t.co/dprgyMs9cA

The Colts quickly made up for Doyle's fumble with a 75-yard touchdown drive to start the second half. Luck connected with Donte Moncrief for his fourth touchdown pass of the evening.

New York turned heads when it inserted Petty at quarterback on its first possession of the second half. It added some temporary excitement to the crowd, but the Jets were forced to punt after a pair of first downs.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News noted fans at least had something to cheer about:

Manish Mehta @MMehtaNYDN

MetLife Stadium security/police with the two best tackles of the night on two knuckleheads who ran on the field.

Any Petty buzz dissipated on their next possession, when Mike Adams picked off a deep ball intended for Robby Anderson and returned it 56 yards to the Jets' 6. Robert Turbin scored two plays later to extend Indianapolis' lead.

After the interception, Petty continued to target Anderson deep and finally connected for a 40-yard score.

"That's a helluva throw by Bryce Petty," Connor Hughes of NJ Advance Media tweeted. "Took him seven tries. But that's a helluva throw."

The NFL passed along the silver lining for New York fans:

NFL @NFL

Great throw by @b_petty14. Even better catch by @youngamazing9. @nyjets TOUCHDOWN. #INDvsNYJ https://t.co/73IQoIGQcm

It was the only bright spot for Petty, who threw incomplete on fourth down with 6:37 remaining and tossed an interception to Darryl Morris on the Jets' last drive.

                                   

What's Next?

Next up for the Colts is a critical showdown with the Texans that will likely go a long way toward determining the AFC South victor. Sunday's game is close to a must-win for Indianapolis, considering a daunting two-game road trip against the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders awaiting it on the other side.

The Jets are out of playoff contention but should have a good chance to earn a win at the 1-11 San Francisco 49ers in their next game. It will also give Petty an opportunity to pick up valuable live reps if he remains under center.

                                                    

Postgame Reaction

Bowles discussed his mindset, per Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday: "I'm angry after every loss. I'm not going to throw the podium at anyone. It would be a lawsuit. If I could, I would."

Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media noted Bowles also said Petty will start the final four games of the season.

Petty reflected on the chance, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com: "A great opportunity for me. ... Opportunities are few and far between in this league, and I'm gonna work my ass off."

According to Martin, Fitzpatrick said he was excited to see Petty play moving forward.

On the other side, Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano said linebacker D'Qwell Jackson suffered a concussion, per Kevin Bowen of the Colts' website.

Butler was already looking ahead to the crucial game against Houston, per Keefer: "Last time the defense played three good quarters then blew it."

The Colts have already beat the Titans twice, and with a victory against the Texans, they will be in control of the AFC South.

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