Indianapolis Colts

Taylor, ground game help Colts find easy path past Jets

Indianapolis Colts' Jonathan Taylor (28) runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes, Jonathan Taylor rushed for 172 yards and two scores and the Indianapolis Colts beat the New York Jets 45-30 on Thursday night.

Indy (4-5) finished with 260 yards rushing, the highest-single game total in the NFL this season in their first prime-time home game since December 2017.

“It takes the pressure off the pass game when you run like that,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “But you could just feel it early, you could feel us really dominating the line early.”

New York starting quarterback Mike White injured his right forearm in the first quarter, four days after throwing for 405 yards and three TDs in his first NFL start. The Jets (2-6) have lost seven straight night games.

White watched the final three quarters from the sideline after throwing a 19-yard TD pass to Elijah Moore that tied the score at 7-7 late in the first quarter. Jets coach Robert Saleh said he was optimistic White — who stood on the sideline in the second half without his helmet — and Zach Wilson (knee) will both practice next week.

But after White went out, it was all Colts.

Taylor broke the tie with a nifty 21-yard TD run. When Jets running back Ty Johnson lost a fumble near midfield, Wentz quickly converted by throwing a 1-yard shovel pass to Jack Doyle for a 21-7 lead.

The Jets answered with a short field goal late in the first half, but Wentz countered with an 11-yard TD pass to Michael Pittman to make it 28-10 at the half.

Wentz opened the second-half scoring with a 2-yard scoring pass to offensive lineman Danny Pinter, and Taylor sealed the win with a 78-yard sprint to make it 42-10.

Josh Johnson, White’s replacement, threw for a career-high 317 yards and had a career-best three touchdown passes in the final 18 minutes — his first TD throws since Dec. 22, 2018.

“Josh, thought he did an awesome job coming in, running the offense exactly the way it’s supposed to be played,” Saleh said. “Hitting the open receiver, just moving the chains.”

Wentz was 22 of 30 with 272 yards. Nyheim Hines had six carries for 74 yards and one score while catching four passes for 34 yards.

Johnson finished 27 of 41 with an interception that sealed the win for the Colts. Moore caught seven passes for 84 yards and two scores.

STAT PACK

Jets: White was 7 of 11 with 95 yards and one score before leaving. … Michael Carter’s streak of two straight games with 100 yards from scrimmage ended. He had 13 carries for 49 yards and seven receptions for 37 yards. … New York allowed Indy’s runners to average 8.7 yards per carry.

Colts: Wentz has thrown multiple TD passes in six straight games and is 2-0 all-time against the Jets. … Taylor has 2,082 yards from scrimmage in his career. He’s also passed Alan Ameche (1,819 yards ) for the fourth-highest rushing total by an Indy player in his first two seasons.

INJURY REPORT

Jets: TE Tyler Kroft (chest) and S Marcus Maye (Achilles tendon) left and didn’t return. Saleh said it “wasn’t looking good” on Maye. … Wilson (knee) and WR Corey Davis (hamstring) each sat out for a second straight game.

Colts: Four-time Pro Bowl WR T.Y. Hilton missed the game four days after hitting his head hard on the ground and entering the concussion protocol. … Starting S Khari Willis went on injured reserve with an injured calf earlier Thursday. … RT Braden Smith left with a triceps injury and CB Xavier Rhodes left with a calf injury.

UP NEXT

Jets: Begin a two-game homestand against Buffalo on Nov. 14.

Colts: Play the last of three straight home games Nov. 14 against Jacksonville.

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