As part of our look back at the 2016 season for the Indianapolis Colts, we’re taking a look at each game the team played this season. We know that won’t be the most fun experience for Colts fans, but we’re taking a look back at each game within the context of the entire season. Today we continue the series with the week thirteen win over the Jets:
The Colts went on the road for Monday Night Football against the Jets in week 13, and with Andrew Luck back under center they got off to a great start. The first half was all Colts all the way. Luck hit Dwayne Allen for a seven yard score... then hit Allen for a 21 yard score... then hit Allen for a 23 yard score - all in the first half. In between the second and the third touchdowns by Allen, the Jets and Colts traded field goals. It was a terrific first half, and the Colts entered the break up 24-3. They didn’t let up in the second half, either. Luck hit Donte Moncrief for a three yard score, then Vinatieri added another field goal, and then just seconds into the fourth quarter Robert Turbin scored on a five yard rush to extend the Colts’ lead to 41-3. The Jets would add a touchdown in the fourth quarter and the Colts would get some valuable reps for some backups, en route to a 41-10 victory in a dominating performance. Luck was sensational, completing 22 of 28 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns, and for his efforts he wound up being named the AFC Player of the Week. Dwayne Allen had the game of his life, catching four passes for 72 yards and three scores, while T.Y. Hilton also had another 100-yard day (nine catches for 146 yards). And the Indianapolis defense also showed up, holding the Jets to just 250 total yards and forcing three turnovers.
It was the second straight game in which Scott Tolzien played, but this one was so much better for the Colts than the last one. Whereas last Thursday the Colts had to play without Andrew Luck, tonight they got such a good performance out of Luck and the rest of the team that they were able to get Tolzien some playing time in garbage time in the fourth quarter as they tried to run out the clock. Sure, the Colts beat up on a bad football team. The Jets fall to just 3-9 on the season, and tonight they looked as miserable and helpless as ever. But keep in mind that the Colts haven’t been a good team this year either and haven’t been able to make it easy against any team, so regardless of the opponent this was a huge game for Indianapolis. They’re now 6-6 on the year, tied for first in the AFC South with the Texans and the Titans, and will return home to face the Texans on a short week in the biggest game of their season. Tonight, however, they’ll revel in their victory, which was the most dominant we’ve seen the Colts in a long time.
What We’re Saying Now:
In the Colts’ first five wins of the 2016 season combined, they outscored opponents by 30 points. On this Monday night in New York, they outscored the Jets by 31. It would be their largest margin of victory all season, rivaled only by the win over the Vikings two weeks later. In fact, it was their largest margin of victory since a week four win over the Jaguars in 2013 in which the Colts won 37-3. In hindsight, this game really didn’t change anything about the way the season had gone: the Jets were a bad team, and the Colts weren’t great either. But the biggest thing to note coming out of this game was the same thing we mentioned at the time: it was the Colts finally taking care of business against a team they should have beaten. Not that any game in the NFL is “easy,” but there was no doubt about it: a Colts team still competing for the AFC South title should absolutely be expected to win against one of the league’s worst teams. But we hadn’t really known what to expect from the Colts in 2016, so to see them actually handle their business was encouraging. It didn’t change the fact that the Colts were an average (at best) team, but at least they were capable of putting away a team they should beat. The Colts had finally put it all together and won in a dominating fashion behind good performances all around the roster.