INDIANAPOLIS (UPI) — Jonathan Taylor ran for 172 yards and two scores and Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes to help the Indianapolis Colts beat the New York Jets and improve to 4-5 on the season.
The Colts totaled 532 yards in the 45-30 victory Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game featured 58 first downs and more than 1,000 combined total yards. The Colts also forced two turnovers and didn’t surrender a turnover offensively.
“You just try to get as many [long runs] as you can in order to try and break their will,” Taylor told reporters. “This game is about who is the toughest for the longest.”
The Colts held a 32-point lead in the third quarter, but held off a late Jets rally to secure the victory.
“To come out swinging the way we did was encouraging,” Wentz said. “To get up early was definitely encouraging and something we needed.”
Jets third-string quarterback Josh Johnson completed 27 of 41 passes for 317 yards, three scores and an interception in three quarters. He was forced into action due to a first-quarter arm injury to second string quarterback Mike White.
The Colts took a 7-0 lead on a 34-yard run by Nyheim Hines midway through the first quarter. White threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Moore about three minutes later to tie the score.
Taylor scored on a 21-yard run at the start of the second quarter, giving the Colts a 14-7 edge. The Jets fumbled on the next possession.
Wentz threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 4:59 left in the first half to increase the Colts advantage. Jets kicker Matt Ammendola made a 33-yard field goal three minutes later to cut the Colts lead to 11.
Wentz threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr. 12 seconds before halftime. The Colts led 28-10 at the break.
Jets try to emerge from an 18-point deficit against Colts
The Colts scored on two consecutive drives in the third quarter to earn a 42-10 edge. Wentz threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Danny Pinter for the first score. Taylor gave the Colts their biggest lead with a 78-yard touchdown run 52 seconds later.
Johnson responded with a 19-yard touchdown toss to Moore with three minutes left in the quarter. He threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Griffin about four minutes into the fourth quarter.
Colts kicker Michael Badgley made a 39-yard kick on the resulting possession. The Jets followed with a 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Johnson threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Ty Johnson to end that possession and cut the Colts lead to 15.
The Colts punted on the next possession. Johnson followed with another long Jets drive, but threw an interception to Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke with 45 seconds remaining, ending the rally.
Wentz completed 22 of 30 passes for 272 yards in the victory. White completed 7 of 11 passes for 95 yards and a score before his injury exit.
Colts defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth totaled two sacks.
“They just executed better than we did,” Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “They got the blocks that they needed, they got the gaps that they needed, their running backs ran hard and they kept running hard.
“Unfortunately, those types of things happen. We pride ourselves in stopping the run game. We knew going into this game, if we didn’t stop the run game, it was going to be a night like we had.”
The Colts (4-5) host the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. EST Nov. 14 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Jets (2-6) battle the Buffalo Bills (5-2) at 1 p.m. EST Nov. 14 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Reporting by Alex Butler
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