2021 NFL season, Week 9: What we learned from Colts' win over Jets on Thursday night

Indianapolis Colts
2021 · 4-5-0
New York Jets
2021 · 2-6-0

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  1. A long day in the film room is on tap for the Jets defense. The Colts offensive line brutalized the Jets' front seven, ripping open cavernous holes for the running game. Play after play, Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines got to the second level of the defense barely touched, if touched at all, as the Jets defensive linemen offered all the resistance of a practice sled. The Colts posted the highest single-game rushing total in the NFL this season (260), and the offensive line made that largely easy work.
  2. Wentz looks great, but who wouldn’t? Carson Wentz played his best game as a Colt, carving up the Jets secondary for three touchdowns on 22-of-30 passing. It was a praise-worthy performance, to be sure, but the Jets’ horrific defensive showing demands a lowered ceiling on Wentz acclaim. He had the benefit of the aforementioned dominant running game and strong pass protection to go with it, most notably on a deep 31-yard completion to Zach Pascal on which Wentz rolled out to his right and released the pass without a Jet within 15 yards of him. For Wentz, this game was target practice.
  3. White makes early exit. A week of amusing hype about Jets quarterback Mike White ended with a thud, as an injury to the right wrist/forearm of the former practice squad player forced him out of the game in the second quarter. He played just long enough to tease Jets fans with more of the effectiveness he showed in his first career start last week. He hit Elijah Moore for a 19-yard touchdown for his fifth TD pass of the year -- one more than injured rookie Zach Wilson in a fraction of the playing time -- and completed 7 of 11 passes for 95 yards. But these are the Jets, and with that comes Jets luck.
  4. Taylor romps for monster game. Where does Taylor rank among the NFL’s elite rushers? The Colts star made a case to move up the ladder Thursday night in showing a combination of power and speed that made Jets defenders look like cardboard cutouts. He broke the second-longest rush with his 78-yard touchdown run despite briefly having to come out of the game due to injury. He’s now the first player with 100-plus scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in six straight single-season games since 2006, when LaDainian Tomlinson did so on the way to an MVP season, per NFL Research.
  5. A solitary positive clad in green. That there was a silver lining for the Jets only goes to show that there’s a silver lining to be found even in the worst of losses. That said, rookie WR Elijah Moore pulled in a pair of touchdown passes and got open with ease against the Colts secondary. Slippery before and after the catch, Moore (seven catches, 84 yards) is gradually putting to rest doubts about whether his size would be problematic in the NFL. If the Jets’ quarterbacking and pass protection finds more consistency in the second half of the season, Moore should establish himself as a cornerstone for future Jets receiving corps.


Next Gen stat of the night: Jets quarterbacks compiled 200-plus yards and three-plus touchdowns on passes of 10-plus air yards for the first time in the Next Gen Stats era.


NFL Research: The Colts scored on each of their first four possessions for the first time since Week 14, 2007 in a 44-20 win at Baltimore.


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