The New York Jets put on a special teams and defensive show at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 42-34 in Week 6 action.
In a season of inconsistent kicking, Jason Myers reminded the Jets that they are set at the position as he knocked home a franchise record seven field goals on the day, accounting for 24 of the Jets’ points.
A shorthanded New York Jets defense without two of their best cornerbacks in Trumaine Johnson and Buster Skrine picked off Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck three times and forced four total turnovers.
Not to be lost in the win was the efficient performance of rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who completed 24-of-30 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns on the day, picking up the slack for a banged up backfield as Isaiah Crowell, who put up 219 yards last week, was playing with a knee injury.
It’s the first time since 2012 that the Jets have eclipsed the 40-point mark at home.
It’s the first time the Jets have won two consecutive games since Weeks 3-5 of last year.
The defense got things started off on the right foot quickly as Morris Claiborne picked off a Luck pass that clanged off the hands of running back Marlon Mack and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown on just the second play of the game.
Luck quickly redeemed the Colts offense on their ensuing drive, hitting Marcus Johnson for a 34-yard touchdown pass. It capped off a 75-yard drive that took just 2:32 and saw Luck go 3-of-4 for 83 yards.
After a Jets field goal momentarily gave the hosts the lead, miscues gave the Colts a chance to take a commanding lead.
A Darnold interception, which was one of his only blemishes on the day, and Quincy Enunwa fumble gave the Colts possession with a short field. But both first-half possessions would end with only a field goal as the Jets defense stiffened up in the red zone.
They didn’t just come up big in the red zone as they helped spark a 20-0 run that would carry into the second half.
Jamal Adams forced a Robert Turbin fumble, recovered by Jordan Jenkins on the Colts 43-yard-line before Darnold managed to take the NFL’s worst red zone offense and regain the lead with 2:35 left in the half when he hit Terrelle Pryor for a seven-yard score.
Myers would tack on a pair of field goals before the half ended, going into the break with a 23-13 lead. One of those possessions was thanks to an Avery Williamson interception, who ensured that it was the first time in three years that the Colts committed three turnovers in a half.
Starting the second half with possession, the Jets extended their lead to 17 after Darnold hit a wide-open Chris Herndon for a 32-yard score.
Indianapolis punched right back with 14 unanswered points of their own as Luck hit both of his tight ends, Eric Ebron and Erik Swoope, at the end of the third quarter and with the first play of the fourth quarter to bring the Colts back to within five.
But three more field goals from Myers, one off a Darron Lee interception of Luck, was enough to keep Indianapolis at bay after a late score with 1:51 to go in the game.