Colts' luck runs out against rejuvenated Jets
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey - There was no miracle comeback for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday as they were thrashed 35-9 by a New York Jets team that are showing flashes of their top form from seasons past.
A week after drawing praise for engineering a game-winning drive during the final minute for an upset win over the Green Bay Packers, Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck was unable to duplicate the feat against a fired-up Jets team.
The Jets, plagued by injuries to key players and facing increasing criticism after losing their last two games, produced arguably their best performance of the 2012 National Football League season.
"This is a really good win for us, we certainly needed one," Jets head coach Rex Ryan told reporters. "You can't afford to lose three games in a row at home. We're a tough team and can overcome a lot but we really needed this one."
Running back Shonn Greene rushed for a career-high 161 yards and three touchdowns while quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has borne the brunt of the scrutiny, completed 11 of 18 passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
"I feel like we're growing closer as a team," Sanchez said. "That's one of the most important things as you make it through a season, to constantly grow together.
"To be able to bounce back the way we did says a lot about the locker room and the guys we have."
The Jets, who came within one win of a Super Bowl berth in each of the 2009 and 2010 seasons, rushed for 252 yards overall as they improved to 3-3 this season ahead of next week's AFC East heavyweight clash with the rival New England Patriots.
Luck completed 22 of 44 pass attempts for 280 yards and two interceptions while losing a fumble and getting sacked four times as the Colts (2-3) failed to score a touchdown for the first time all season.
"That was very simple, if you can't block and you can't tackle, you can't win," said Indianapolis interim head coach Bruce Arians.
"It's fundamentals, things that we identified going into the game, fake punts, stopping the run (and) protecting the quarterback.
"Red zone offense and defense were the keys to the game and we didn't win in any of those areas." (Editing by Frank Pingue)