What We Saw: Jets at Colts

Frank Reich, I love you.

Jetsย @ Colts

Final Score: Colts 45, Jets 30

Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

 

The ruthless Indianapolis Colts steamrolled the woebegone New York Jets on the back of a play calling masterclass from Frank Reich. Carson Wentz starred as the Colts turned four first half possessions into four touchdowns, with emerging superstars Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. both hitting pay dirt.

The Jets’ lousy luck at the quarterback position continued as Mike White, coming off a phenomenal debut win last week against the Bengals, looked good before exiting with a wrist injury caused after a pressure from elite defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. White failed to return and Josh Johnson was hapless in relief. Another blow for this beleaguered franchise.

 

The Colts continued their domination in the second half โ€“ Wentz picked apart the Jets defense on the first drive but the Jets made a stop at the goal line on fourth down. However, on the very next drive a huge run by Nyheim Hinesย setup another touchdown pass for Wentz, this time to offensive lineman Danny Pinter, his first every catch in the NFL. Lovely stuff.

 

Josh Johnson did throw a couple of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to keep things respectable for the Jets but in truth this was a complete slaughter. There was a plenty of garbage time points for fantasy managers, however.

 

New York Jets

 

Quarterback

 

Mike White: 7/11, 95 yards, TD

Josh Johnson: 27/41, 317 yards, 3 TD, INT, 2 sacks | 4 carries, 18 yards

 

Oh, what a shame! After a scintillating debut start last week from Mike White, the unlikely hero for the Jets flashed a bit of brilliance before being forced from the game with a wrist injury that prevented him from being able to properly grip the football. White had started well, driving the Jets down the field before connecting with Elijah Moore on back-to-back passes for the touchdown. The first throw highlighted what White did well last week too, surveying the field, staying in the pocket and accurately hitting his target.

 

The game was dead and buried by the time Josh Johnson made some plays. He threw three touchdown passes after the Jets went down 42-10 with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter. Johnson connected with Moore for his second score of the night after a well-constructed drive against a Colts defense that had started to ease up.

 

Still, give some credit to Johnson for sticking in there, grinding and moving the offense. The defense was a train wreck all night so Johnson can come off the field with his head up. He engineered an 11-play, 66-yard touchdown drive ending in a nice pass to Ryan Griffen, before making things interesting with a 13-play, 80-yard drive finished up by Ty Johnson. In those sequences, this lovely throw from a deep drop-back to Denzel Mims stood out.

 

Running Backs

 

Michael Carter: 13 carries, 49 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 37 yards

Ty Johnson: 4 carries, 21 yards, Fumble (Lost) | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 40 yards, TD

Trevon Westco: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards

 

After a sensational performance on the ground last week against the Bengals, rookie fourth-round pick Michael Carter crashed back down to earth as the Jets lost both their starting quarterback and the ground game to the merciless Colts. Still, Carter managed to muster 86 yards from scrimmage and remains the focal point of this run game. He showed his ability to burst through lanes and miss tackles on a number of carries. The future is bright for the former North Carolina back.

 

It was a Jekyll and Hyde performance from the Jets’ change-of-pace running back Ty Johnson. He lost a key fumble on the Jets’ first drive without White to hand the advantage well and truly over to the Colts. Darius Leonard punched the ball straight out in the tackle.

 

Again, credit where credit is due to this gritty, hard-working Jets offense who failed to lay down and surrender in this one. Johnson manufactured a touchdown for himself with a battling, determined run in the fourth quarter, staying on his feet and driving for the line where others may have gone down under contact.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Elijah Moore: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 84 yards, 2 TD

Keelan Cole: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 66 yards

Jeff Smith: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 40 yards

Tyler Kroft: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 38 yards

Jamison Crowder: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 38 yards

Ryan Griffen: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 28 yards, TD

Denzel Mims: 5 targets, 1 reception, 20 yards

Braxton Berrios: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 5 yards

 

The Elijah Moore breakout game finally happened. It’s a shame the flame was extinguished so quickly after the injury to White. White hit Moore on back-to-back plays for the Jets’ opening touchdown โ€“ the first throw was a lovely seam down the middle of the field, before White went through his progressions and caught Xavier Rhodes blowing coverage to find Moore over the top for six on the next play.

 

Moore went quiet for a while as the Colts took over but did finished up a nice drive in the third quarter by hauling in a pass from Johnson for his second receiving score of the day, changing direction nicely and fighting off contact to reach the end zone.

 

Robbed of a touchdown last week after a beautiful one-handed catch in the end zone against the Bengals, Keelan Cole showed his nifty hands by going up for this grab to extend the first touchdown drive for the Jets. Cole has seen a healthy target share over the past few weeks and has made some nice plays to boot.

 

Tight ends Tyler Kroft and Ryan Griffen saw a combined 1o targets as Josh Johnson’s scatter-gun approach seem to bewilder any type of offensive game plan. Kroft saw the most looks but it was Griffen who nabbed the all-important touchdown pass in garbage time to make some fantasy managers very happy.

 

Another disappointing outing for 2020 second-round pick Denzel Mims, who despite catching that lovely throw from Johnson to setup the second Jets score, had a couple of poor drops and failed to register another catch. Not good for a player who has already been called out by the coaching staff this year.

 

Indianapolis Colts

 

Quarterback

 

Carson Wentz: 22/30, 272 yards, 3 TD, sack | 4 carries, 13 yards

Sam Ehlinger: 1 carry, 1 yard

 

It’s hard to heap all the praise on Carson Wentz as his Head Coach, Frank Reich delivered from the playbook on the ground and through the air in this one. The Colts notched 532 total yards in the game and averaged 8.7 yards per play, a remarkable statistic. Wentz did struggle with the deep ball early once again, and was lucky not to be picked off on this under-thrown ball.

 

Still, his chemistry with breakout wideout Michael Pittman Jr. is highly encouraging and it was clear that the Colts relied on this connection when they needed to make plays. They have connected for five touchdowns in the last five games. Wentz now has consecutive three-touchdown games and extended his run of multiple touchdown games to six.

 

Running Backs

 

Jonathan Taylor: 19 carries, 172 yards, 2 TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 28 yards

Nyheim Hines: 6 carries, 74 yards, TD | 6 targets, 4 receptions, 34 yards

 

The start every fantasy manager wants from a Thursday Night Football game from Colts lead back Jonathan Taylor. The former Wisconsin back put up his best fantasy score of the season (33 points in Yahoo! leagues) after a dominant showing off just 21 touches. This determined early run set the tone for the Colts on the ground.

 

By the time Taylor ran in for the score at the start of the second quarter, the Colts already had over 100 yards of rushing to boast. In fact, across the night 211 of the 260 total rushing yards came before contact. Wow! Taylor marched in for his first score after hitting his lane beautifully then juking the secondary who couldn’t live with him.

 

This angle of Taylor’s second touchdown run, a 78-yard sprint in which he burned past the Jets defense reaching a top speed of 22.05 mph, the fastest speed by a ball carrier this season, is simply wonderful.

 

Oh, and let’s not forget about Nyheim Hines. After a somewhat dreadful first two months of the season, Hines finally got involved in this offense and in doing so hit pay dirt on the longest rush of his professional career so far.

 

Hines had failed to go beyond 18 yards in his previous five game and this was his first touchdown since Week 3. If you did take a punt on him for this one, you are a wiser man than me.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Michael Pittman Jr.: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 54 yards, TD

Zach Pascal: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 58 yards

Mo Alie-Cox: 1 target, 1 reception, 28 yards

Kylen Granson: 1 target, 1 reception, 27 yards

Ashton Dulin: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards

Dezmon Patmon: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

Danny Pinter: 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards, TD

Jack Doyle: 2 targets, 1 reception, 1 yard, TD

 

Michael Pittman Jr. is becoming a WR1 to watch as he connected once again with his quarterback for a key score at the end of the first half. Pittman did brilliantly to catch the ball and make a football move, getting two feet down also, before seeing the ball being punched out from his hands.

 

Pittman only saw six targets, however, a huge decrease from the 15 last week. But the Colts went up big by the half and the game script didn’t warrant Wentz hurling the ball regularly. There is enough there to elevate him into the top 15 wide receiver pool going forward. He now has 50 catches on 71 targets for 658 yards and five scores.

The rest of the offense fought for scraps from Wentz, who connected with five of his eight receivers for just one catch. One of those was tight end Jack Doyle, who collected this cheek toss from Wentz in the first half for a touchdown.

 

Reich did nicely to spread the looks around for what is a very young offense. Both Kylen Granson and Ashton Dulin showed ability in hauling in longer throws for key gains.

But this offense is all about Taylor and Pittman.

 

Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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