By Brad Carroll
The New York Jets defense completely shut down Andrew Luck and the high-powered Colts offense Monday night, forcing five turnovers and allowing just seven points in a dominating performance, winning 20-7. While the defense was masterful, it was an offensive stretch in the fourth quarter that ended the game and truly should have Jets fans excited.
After the Colts cut the Jets' lead to 10-7 in the fourth quarter, and fans everywhere terrified the dominating performance to that point would turn from a sure win to a devastating loss, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was ready with what was the perfect, and unexpected, play calls with the game on the line.
Unlike in recent years, where the Jets offense would be more than predictable, running the ball and more often than not punting the ball right back to the opposition, and making the defense win the game, this Jets coaching staff did the complete opposite.
Gailey called five straight pass plays on the following drive, totaling 41 yards and another five on a defensive holding penalty. With the Colts defense on their heels, not knowing what was coming next (how different is that?), Gailey called a run to Chris Ivory, which the bruising back busted through the line for 16 yards. Ivory ran again for three yards before one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos in recent Jets history hooked up for the game-clincher.
On a second and seven play from the Colts 15, Fitzpatrick threw a back shoulder pass to Brandon Marshall, and the big wide-out did the rest, bulling his way past two defensive backs and into the end zone for the winning score.
The Jets had a 17-7 lead, answering the Colts touchdown with a score of their own just 3:47 later. Just like that, the Jets closed the door on Indianapolis.
Forget about runing the ball. Forget about taking time off the clock. Forget about playing it safe. This Jets team went jugular on offense, a complete page turn from the teams run by former coach Rex Ryan, where the defense was always put on the spot to close out games.
If there ever was a doubt this Jets team has completely changed in philosphy from the past, it was proven immediately after that Colts touchdown with those play calls put together by Chan Gailey and head coach Todd Bowles.
On the whole, the defense was the reason why the Jets dominated the Colts and improved to 2-0 on the season. Forcing five turnovers and allowing seven points against anyone is an amazing performance.
But for the first time in a long, long time, when the defense needed the offense to match their contributions and close out a victory, they were up to the task.