The Jets are now 2-0. Gang Green dominated the Indianapolis Colts tonight in a road game, winning 20-7. What went right? Let's jump into it below.
Darrelle Revis: Revis got beaten a couple of times on the only Indianapolis touchdown drive, but he was also part of three turnovers. On the interception, he looked like he was the one running the route. On the fumble recovery on the goal line, he delivered a hit that prevented Frank Gore from recollecting the ball. He also had a recovery on the fumble David Harris forced. Other than that, there was nothing down the field for Andrew Luck. The Colts tested him a few times and were seldom successful. It was an excellent night for the secondary.
David Harris: This looked like the David Harris I grew to love early in his career. He was constantly around the ball. He forced a fumble. He wasn't a catastrophe working in space. Harris finished with 7 tackles.
Buster Skrine: Normally it is not a good thing when a cornerback leads your team in tackles as Skrine did tonight with 8. Most of the time a cornerback tackle comes after he's allowed a completion. I really like what Skrine did tonight, though. He was effective a couple of times as a blitzer. Andrew Luck's first interception was a direct result of a Skrine pressure. He had to get rid of it. Skrine also won more than he lost. I'll know more when I get to rewatch the game, but my sense was that the Jets were not giving him a lot of help, and he still more than held his own in coverage.
Calvin Pryor: I feel like every year people are telling me some young player who struggles is going to be great the next season once he gets experience. I heard it about Vlad Ducasse. I heard it about Stephen Hill. I heard it about plenty others. It has seldom happened. It would be nice if it actually started happening now and then. Through two games, Pryor is starting to make me believe he might break out after his rookie year. He was right where he needed to be to pick Luck off early in the game. He cleaned up five tackles and had a few key stops to prevent touchdowns on the drive that ended with Gore's fumble. They flew under the radar but proved to be important.
Muhammad Wilkerson: Statistics don't really tell the story of how good Wilkerson was tonight. He drew multiple holding penalties. He also was at the middle of two interceptions. He deflected one, and his pressure forced another.
Leonard Williams: He started to take over in the second half. It felt like he was living in the backfield at times. Against a quarterback with less pocket presence, Williams comes away from this one with multiple sacks.
Quinton Coples: He started the game off with a pressure and at the middle of some big stops. He had a big sack wiped off by a penalty, but I thought it was just bad luck. He made a great move, and just ended up grazing Luck's helmet.
Marcus Gilchrist: Four tackles, a holding penalty drawn, and a really nice break on the ball for Luck's third interception.
Brandon Marshall: Marshall finished with 7 catches, 101 yards, and a critical touchdown in the fourth quarter when the game felt in danger. He dragged people into the end zone on that play. Even before Vontae Davis left with an injury, it felt like Marshall was getting the better of one of the league's finest cornerbacks for the second straight week.
Eric Decker: If there is anything that casts a black cloud over this win, it is Decker leaving the game with an injury. The Jets need him. His first half showed why. He was taking the inexperienced cover guys the Colts had to school with his route running. Decker finished with 8 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: This was not a great quarterbacking performance by Fitzpatrick. His deep ball was pretty ugly. I counted at least five times he threw deep into either double or triple coverage. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, though, because he made the throws he had to make to give the Jets the lead early and then to put it away in the fourth quarter. He had the sense to go to Brandon Marshall with the game on the line.
Bilal Powell: I have never been a big Bilal Powell fan. I think his pass protecting has been overrated for most of his career. He has been a key part of the protection through the first two games, though. He threw some key blocks to give Fitzpatrick extra time. He also converted a pair of first downs on the Jets' final clock killing drive. I'll even forgive him for the fumble.
Offensive Line Pass Blocking: Fitzpatrick had a clean pocket for most of the evening.
Chan Gailey: I really hated the way he called this game. He went into his shell when the Jets went up by 10 points. They had a chance to deliver the knockout blow multiple times and let the Colts stay in the game. Let me give you two examples. Up 7-0 in the second quarter, the Jets had a first and ten on the Colts' 19. Davis had just left the game, and Brandon Marshall had just beaten Eric Patterson cleanly for a first down catch. The Jets were having problems running. They had Marshall in a total mismatch, and Eric Decker had been running wild all night. This was a chance to put it away. Gailey called two runs, and third down was a checkdown. The Jets played for a field goal. Then up 10-0 right before the half, the Jets had a third and ten from the Colts' 32. Gailey called a run, playing for the field goal again. The Jets had one of the ten best receivers in the league against players who had barely or never played cornerback before in the NFL but did not try to exploit these matchups until the Colts cut it to 3. Gailey went into his shell and tried to win the game 10-0. I don't know how much of this was Gailey, and how much was Todd Bowles. What I do know is this was a recipe to make the game much more dangerous than it needed to be. Let teams hang around, and sometimes you lose games your team dominates. There was no reason this ever should have been a 3 point game in the fourth quarter. Play calling helped contribute to that.
Antonio Cromartie: It wasn't a total disaster for Cro, but he was beaten for the only Colts touchdown of the night and a big reception that put Indy into field goal range before Adam Vinatieri's missed try.
Quincy Enunwa: He had a clutch 27 yard reception in the fourth quarter, but there were a couple of other balls earlier he could have come up with.
Chris Ivory: There weren't a lot of holes, but Ivory also wasn't quick like last week when he bounced his runs outside to get the corner. He did get stronger as the game went on, though, and broke some big runs in the second half.
Offensive Line Run Blocking: These guys just didn't get a push, and it didn't look to me like the Colts were selling out to stop the run. It isn't necessarily that surprising. In general, the guys on the line have historically been stronger pass blockers than run blockers. I still would have liked to have seen the Jets have more success establishing the run early.
This was an excellent win tonight. Things are starting to shape up for this football team. Now come the Eagles.