Ryan Fitzpatrick recorded his second best start of the season in Sunday's 22-17 loss to the Patriots, throwing for 269 yards and two touchdowns, for a rating of 115.2. Fitz and the offense took the vertical passing attack as the chunk plays served as a catalyst for the offense. WR Quincy Enunwa accounted for four of five plays to go for more than 20 yards, the first player in green and white to do so since Santana Moss in 2002.
And just for the record, Fitzpatrick's best game came Week 2 against Buffalo where the offense was responsible for eight plays of 20-plus yards. Pattern, anyone?
"You go into every game trying to find the soft spots," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "This week we were able to hit a couple deep balls, that was the biggest thing. When you can do that, everything looks a little bit better. We hadn't done as good a job as we needed to in the past.
"Instead of having a drive that's 10 to 13 plays, it's nice to be able to drive in 6-9 plays. It helps your consistency on offense if you can get a few chunks in there."
Monday's game isn't the Jets' first rodeo against the Andrew Luck-led Colts. In fact, the two teams squared off on Monday Night Football in Week 2 of last season from Lucas Oil Stadium. While the Green & White will play host this time around, the defense hopes to replicate last year's performance. The unit forced five turnovers (two fumbles, three interceptions) en route to a 20-7 victory while holding Luck to a 52% completion mark.
"They're very similar to the team we played last year," defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said. "We feel the same way — they're an explosive team with dynamic receivers. The quarterback can make all the throws and then he's a problem scrambling. And [Frank] Gore, when we looked at him, it looks like he has fresh legs and is really coming downhill. We knew the tight ends took care of the running game, but they're also targeted quite a bit."
Assessing the YouthQB Bryce Petty:"He did some good things, but he needs all the work he can get, just like any young player," Gailey said of his Week 10 start against the Rams. "It helps to play in games."
QB Christian Hackenberg:"I think he's a developmental player at this point," Gailey said. "There's a lot of talent there, the sky is the limit, but we don't know yet."
OLB Jordan Jenkins:"As you watch him grow from Week 1 to now, he's been steady progressing," Rodgers said. "He's a heavy-handed guy so we like him in the run game and he's taking steps in the pass game. We trust him and as a young player, he's really growing."
CB Juston Burris:"Without putting words in anybody's mouth, I would say he's doing a really good job in special teams and he's growing there," Rodgers said. "He's really taking steps. We watch him each day during practice. He's getting better and better and we think he's pretty close."
CB Darryl Roberts:"I would totally say pleasant surprise," Rodgers remarked. "He's a competitive guy. I'm really pleased with where he is."