Indianapolis Colts Defense shines in win over the New York Jets

  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Jonathan Taylor
  • Kenny Moore
  • New York Jets
  • Sam Darnold
  • Xavier Rhodes
By JacobMummert September 28, 2020 0 Comment
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The Colts beat the Jets on Sunday, 36-7, in large part from their defense that scored 14 points. Here’s how it happened and what it means.

The Indianapolis Colts took the field Sunday coming off a win against the Minnesota Vikings but notoriously known for playing down to their competition. The New York Jets entered this game with 18 players on the injury report and head coach Adam Gase in the hot seat. It had all the makings on a trap game that Colts fans know all too well. Instead, the Colts focused on defense and executed their offensive plan leading them to their emphatic victory over the Jets.

Rhodes Closed in Indianapolis

If cornerback Xavier Rhodes was good in week two, he was great in week three. Rhodes halted the Jets’ first drive of the game with a 44-yard pick-six. Rhodes struck again the second quarter, intercepting a touchdown pass from Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold. What is interesting about this play was that Rhodes was in man coverage with cornerback Kenny Moore when he should have been in zone coverage. His receiver was open in the back of the end zone, but Rhodes, with his veteran mentality, was able to recover and make an incredible play to prevent the Jets from scoring.

The rest of the defense followed Rhodes’ example. Fellow cornerback T.J. Carrie intercepted Darnold in the third quarter taking it to the house for a 47-yard pick-six. It was Carrie’s first pick-six of his seven-year career and his second interception with the Colts. Carrie now has the same number of interceptions in three games with the Colts as he did in his two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

The Colts only sacked Darnold twice on Sunday which doesn’t do justice for the amount of pressure the defensive line had. Darnold was able to slip out of the pocket and shed tackles to extend plays with his legs. Moore sacked Darnold on a blitz in the second quarter knocking them back 11 yards and forcing them to punt two plays later. Defensive end Justin Houston caused a safety in the fourth quarter with the Jets at their own six-yard line.

Offense good, not great

The Colts’ offense was good in week three but not great. If you take away extra points and field goals the Colts defense scored more than their offense. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor rushed 13 times for 59 yards and his second career touchdown. Fellow running backs Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines were more involved as well netting 39 and 21 yards respectively. Taylor and Wilkins averaged over four yards a carry with Hines right at three.

Quarterback Phillip Rivers threw 17 for 21 for 217 yards and a touchdown with no sacks. Three receivers caught every ball thrown their way on Sunday. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton caught three passes for 52 yards and fellow wide receiver Daurice Fountain caught two receptions for 23 yards. Tight end Mo Alie-Cox was the third receiver to snag all targets catching three passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Despite the efficient day on offense, the Colts still struggled to end drives with touchdowns. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is now six for seven on field goals after going two for three on Sunday. That equates to 49 points if the Colts scored touchdowns and nailed the extra point, which Blankenship is perfect on, on each of his seven attempts. Instead, the Colts settled for 18 points. Blankenship is tied for second in points among kickers with 32.

So far this season, the Colts leave games with areas to improve on. The same can be said about their week three victory. The Colts will continue to fix issues and tweak their game as they go into a week four matchup with the 3-0 Chicago Bears.

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