One third-quarter sequence perfectly exemplified the Jets’ 20-7 victory over the Colts Monday night: their defense is damn good, but they’re getting a bit of luck too.
The Jets had stymied the Colts offense for 30 minutes, but were only up 10-0 because of their own offensive ineptitude. A Colts touchdown to begin the second half would’ve rendered most of the first half defensive dominance moot.
Andrew Luck led the Colts on an extended drive to begin the second half, chewing up 8:30 of clock while marching 77 yards to the Jets three. On 1st and goal from the three, Josh Robinson ran two yards before fumbling the ball, but was ruled down by contact. On 2nd and 1 from the one, Frank Gore was stuffed for no gain. On 3rd and 1 from the one, Frank Gore simply lost the ball with no defender within a yard, and Darrelle Revis recovered for the Jets:
It was the Jets’ third turnover recovery of the night, and they added two more interceptions of Luck (he had three on the night, plus his own fumble) later. Including the five they racked up in a season-opening win over the Browns, the Jets have forced a remarkable 10 turnovers in just two games. They only forced 13 turnovers all of last season!
Obviously, this isn’t going to last. For one, the Jets have caused six fumbles and recovered all six, when all research suggests that recovering fumbles is essentially random, a 50/50 proposition. But causing fumbles is skill, and notwithstanding the gift from Gore, the Jets certainly seem to possess it. Their three picks of Luck were also the most he’s thrown since Week 9 of the 2013 season.
New Jets head coach Todd Bowles built his reputation on the blitz, and just like they did last week against the Browns, the Jets brought extra defenders at Andrew Luck just about every chance they got. With one of the better cornerback duos in the league in Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie—even if Cromartie has lost a step—Bowles clearly feels comfortable leaving them on island. Against Luck—who struggled in Week 1 against the Bills’ blitz—it worked, as he was harried and harassed all night.
The Jets offense struggled—you should really be scoring more than 20 points when your defense gifts you five turnovers—and maybe the league will quickly figure out Bowles’s schemes. But through two games at least, the Jets defense looks unstoppable.
Photo via Getty