After their overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans last weekend, you could forgive the Indianapolis Colts having a hangover in their short-week Thursday night game against the New York Jets.
Instead, led by the impressive Carson Wentz and the unstoppable Jonathan Taylor, the Colts saw off a plucky Jets performance at Lucas Oil Stadium to land a 45-30 victory.
And for stats fans, that was the 1069th unique final score in NFL history, according to one punter on Twitter.
Colts Impressive With Wentz Flawless
A few days after Carson Wentz had to take the blame for the Colts overtime loss to their divisional rivals the Tennessee Titans, the former Eagles star put on a superb performance at quarterback in this key victory for Indianapolis.
Wentz went 22-of-30 for 272 yards and three touchdowns with, tellingly, no interceptions. That gave him a QB rating of 134.3 in what was an excellent performance by Wentz, arguably his best since donning a Colts uniform.
He was assisted by the superb Jonathan Taylor. The Offensive Player of the Month for October rushed for a career-high 172 yards including a couple of touchdowns on just 19 carries.
In total, the Colts had a huge 532 yards of offense, while the Jets weren’t shy of moving the ball having 486 yards of offense themselves. However, they also threw one interception, lost a fumble and had seven penalties which contributed to their downfall.
After the win, Colts head coach Frank Reich was hugely positive about Wentz’s performance in
the game, especially after what happened against the Titans just a few days prior.
“Carson Wentz was freaking flawless tonight. Flawless,” enthused the Colts head coach.
“ complete command of the offense today. He played really good football.”
Wentz too was pleased with his display and the team’s performance.
“That was huge,” said the QB after the game.
“ I mean, especially on a short week. It kind of forced us. You got to come in right back to work and it was set up perfectly. Prime-time game, home. So it was set up perfect for us to come in here and bounce back from that loss.”
The Colts are now 4-5 on the season, 12th in the seedings for the AFC playoffs, but after a slow start and that defeat to the Titans, they are now back on track and with half the season still to play, will be seeking to move up those rankings to challenge for a spot in the top seven.
And with the AFC being as unpredictable as it has been in many years this season, a few more performances like this will certainly help them achieve that goal.
White Injury Forces Jets To Turn To Johnson
After a stunning performance last week against the Bengals, which earned him offensive player
of the week in the NFL, Jets backup Mike White started this game well too, throwing a first quarter touchdown to Elijah Moore.
However, at the end of the first, he hurt his arm on a play and could not grip the ball properly, which meant the Jets had to turn to third-string quarterback, journeyman Josh Johnson, who has played for 16 teams in a long and varied career.
While Johnson didn’t play poorly, a point acknowledged by Jets head coach Robert Saleh, there’s no doubt that losing White was a tough blow, especially with first choice quarterback Zach Wilson already on the sideline and the recently acquired Joe Flacco not deemed up to speed enough with the team due to only joining the team on Friday.
White’s injury improved by the fourth quarter and he should be good to go for the Jets next game, but with Flacco now in the building and Wilson also on the mend and likely to be back within the next week or two, whether White is under center in the next game remains to be seen.
The Jets are now 2-6 in the AFC East and looking well out of contention for the playoffs. They are yet to win on the road this season, going 0-5 in those games, while winning two of their three games at home.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Jets as they face divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills a week on Sunday, while the Colts also face a divisional game against the Jaguars on the same day.