The Jets honored their 1968 Super Bowl-winning team Sunday, 50 years after they defeated the Colts in Super Bowl III. Then Joe Namath and Co. watched the current Jets go out and get their own victory over the Colts.
This 42-34 win over the Colts was not as meaningful as the big one in 1969, but it was still important for the Jets, who won back-to-back games for the first time in a calendar year.
The Jets are now back to .500 at 3-3 and proved they can follow up one win with another, which they have struggled to do recently.
The Jets led by 17 points in the second half in this game, but Andrew Luck kept bringing the Colts back and made it a one-score game in the fourth quarter. But the Jets scored on eight straight possessions as the Indianapolis defense could not stop Sam Darnold (24-of-30, 280 yards, two touchdowns and one interception) and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (nine receptions, 94 yards).
Luck made some brilliant plays in the game but was intercepted three times by the Jets defense. The first interception came on the second play of the game, a pass that bounced off running back Marlon Mack’s hands, then was tipped by Jamal Adams and grabbed by Morris Claiborne and returned 17 yards for a touchdown.
The final interception iced the game for the Jets. Up by nine points with 8:11 left in the game, Jets linebacker Darron Lee made a beautiful play to pick off Luck and give the ball back to the Jets offense.
Darnold was extremely efficient against a Colts defense that played mostly Cover 2, giving him short, underneath passes he gladly took. It seemed like every time the Colts defense had the Jets on the ropes, Darnold would find Kearse or Terrelle Pryor in the middle of the field for a first down.
If you wanted to criticize Darnold and the Jets offense for anything, it would be their inability to reach the end zone enough. They had to settle for a franchise-record seven field goals from Jason Myers, who was perfect in the game. The offense scored just two touchdowns — Darnold passes to Chris Herndon and Pryor.
The Jets defense, playing without two starters in the secondary, forced four turnovers and did just enough to keep the Colts down. Luck went 23-of-43 for 301 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He was betrayed by receivers dropping passes all over the field.
The Colts had a 13-10 lead in the second quarter after two Jets turnovers led to two Colts field goals. But the Jets managed to score 13 points in the final three minutes of the first half to go into the locker room up 23-13. A 32-yard touchdown from Darnold to Herndon to open the third quarter inflated that lead to 30-13.
Luck cut that lead to six points on a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Erik Swoope at the start of the fourth quarter. Myers kicked three field goals in the fourth quarter to push the Jets past 40 points for the second time this season. Luck found Chester Rogers for a 17-yard touchdown with 1:51 left in the game to make it a 42-34 game. The Jets recovered the onside kick and escaped with the win.
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