- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis’ mounting mistakes cost them again Monday night.

If they don’t find a quick fix, the problems could derail the whole season.

The New York Jets took advantage of five turnovers and 11 Colts penalties to pull away for a 20-7 victory in Indy’s home opener. It’s pretty obvious what’s wrong.

“Turning the ball over, interceptions,” Andrew Luck said. “That’s a pretty glaring issue.”

Luck has been a big part of the problem. While he finished 21 of 37 for 250 yards with one touchdown, three interceptions and lost a fumble, he now has five interceptions in two weeks.

But Luck wasn’t the only one struggling. Frank Gore bobbled a handoff on the Jets 1-yard line and Darrelle Revis recovered it in his own end zone. Adam Vinatieri missed a 29-yard field goal - the first miss he’s had under 30 yards since 2007. Indy had no third-down conversions, or points, in the first half and the continual penalties hurt, too.

“It’s hard enough to win games in this league,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “But when we’re 0 for 5 on third downs in the first half, and we couldn’t get our defense off the field, it’s very hard. We need to make great decisions, hang onto the football. It’s not trigonometry. We’ve got to get it fixed.”

Revis, who has always been a problem for Luck, still mystified the young quarterback.

He picked off one pass and recovered two fumbles, delivering his typical prime-time performance.

“It’s Monday night, on a big stage, and we knew what type of game this was going to be,” Revis said.

Revis’ homecoming has been everything New York fans hoped for. With Revis and Antonio Cromartie locking down outside receivers, first-year coach Todd Bowles has been able to rely on his defensive front to stop the run and routinely pressure quarterbacks.

In the opener against Cleveland, New York converted five turnovers into 21 points.

Against the supposedly, high-powered Colts offense, they did it again. The Jets matched that five-turnover total, kept the Colts out of the end zone for three full quarters and never gave Luck a chance to get comfortable. The result: New York is off to its first 2-0 start since 2011.

“The name of the game is turnovers and keeping the score down, regardless of whatever else happens,” Bowles said.

Indianapolis (0-2) is keeping its dismal start in perspective.

After starting last season with back-to-back losses, they won five straight.

This time seems different. Luck is struggling and after a strong start, Frank Gore finished with 15 carries for 57 yards. Donte Moncrief was the only receiver to top the 50-yard mark. Moncrief caught seven passes for 122 yards and Indy’s only touchdown.

Indy has scored just 21 points in eight quarters, and inside the stadium, the fans who roared for Robert Mathis’ return and Jeff Saturday’s induction into the ring of honor, booed heartily as the mistakes piled up.

“You can’t penalize yourself, you can’t turn the ball over,” Pagano said. “We have to protect, give him (Luck) a clean pocket. You can’t drive the length of the field and put the football on the ground.”

The Colts’ problems began early.

On Indy’s first series, Calvin Pryor intercepted a pass and ran it back to the Colts 9-yard line. Four plays later, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 6-yard TD pass to Eric Decker.

Fitzpatrick finished 22 of 34 for 244 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception - getting his first career win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Fitzpatrick became the first player since 1950 to start five consecutive road games against one team while playing for five different teams. He was 0-4 in the previous starts.

Eric Decker had eight receptions for 97 yards before leaving with a knee injury, and Brandon Marshall caught seven passes for 101 yards and one touchdown.

The Jets struggled to put this one away, though.

New York couldn’t score again until Nick Folk made a 35-yard field goal late in the first half.

Indy finally got on the board with Luck’s 26-yard TD pass to Moncrief with 10:07 left in the game.

Fitzpatrick answered on the next series with a 15-yard TD pass to Marshall and Marcus Gilchrist’s late interception set up Folk’s final field goal.

NOTES: Indy cornerback Vontae Davis (concussion) and tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle) left the game with injuries and did not return. … Decker is expected to have an MRI on his injured knee Tuesday. … Luck has already thrown five interceptions this season. … New York scored just 20 points off turnovers all of last season.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide