Colts vs. Jets: New York Crushes Young Indianapolis Team

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistOctober 14, 2012

The Jets piled on Luck.
The Jets piled on Luck.Nick Laham/Getty Images

If the second half against the Green Bay Packers was like a dream for the Indianapolis Colts, the New York Jets brutally woke them back up to reality.

The Jets dominated Indianapolis in every possible phase of the game en route to a 35-9 victory.

The Colts were painfully passive, as interim head coach Bruce Arians repeatedly settled for field goals and punts in short-yardage situations.

Conservative football is not a recipe for success, especially not with a young team playing its second road game.

Andrew Luck had his worst game as a professional, repeatedly missing open men and throwing two interceptions. His final numbers for the day reflected his struggles, as he was 22-of-44 for 280 yards, two interceptions and a fumble. The result was a passer rating of 51.3.

Defensively, the Colts were over-matched by a Jets offense that has been embarrassing through five games. New York piled up 252 yards rushing to go with two touchdown passes by Mark Sanchez.

The star of the game offensively for the Jets was Shonn Greene, whose 161 rushing yards and three touchdowns paced the home team.

New York was the more aggressive squad, boldly attempting a fake punt late in the first half. Tim Tebow's 23-yard pass to Nick Bellore set the Jets up with a 21-6 lead heading into the break.

The Colts moved the ball effectively between the 40s, but saw multiple drives stall out in New York territory.

With the offense languishing, the Colts needed big plays to stay close. Unfortunately, the defense failed to force a turnover and the offense handed the ball to the Jets four times.

With Luck's primary target of Reggie Wayne largely taken away by Antonio Cromartie, he struggled to complete passes. He got no help at all from his run game, as the Colts picked up just 43 yards on the ground with Donald Brown unavailable due to injury.

For Indianapolis fans hoping for a surprising run to the playoffs, the loss was deflating. The Colts still have numerous and obvious flaws that preclude consistent play.

Indy will try to even its record on the season with a victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 7, but it's clear that the team lacks the talent to win even half its games.

The Colts still have a slate of winnable games in the coming weeks, but if they are going to pick up additional victories, the burden will fall entirely on Luck to carry them.

If he plays like he did against New York, the Colts will once again compete for a top-five pick in the draft.