MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Todd Bowles is keeping the Jets grounded.
Sure, they’re off to their first 2-0 start since 2011, the defense forced five more turnovers Monday night against Andrew Luck and, of course, the New York fans are already revving up for more after a 20-7 win at Indianapolis. Bowles knows there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“It’s a good win, but it’s only win No. 2,” the first-year Jets coach said after a 20-7 victory at Indianapolis. “We’re not where we want to be, but we’re on the way.”
The defense might not be able to get much better.
New York already has five takeaways in the first two games and has scored 31 points off those miscues after producing only 20 points all of last season.
The reason is that they’ve been able to relentlessly pressure quarterbacks and lock down outside receivers with their two veteran cornerbacks, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, who played Monday on a sore knee.
But there was plenty to critique about the Jets’ offense, which struggled to seal the game until the closing minutes.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was 22 of 34 for 244 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in his first win at Lucas Oil Stadium, Brandon Marshall caught seven passes for 101 yards and one TD and Eric Decker caught eight passes for 97 yards and a TD before leaving with a knee injury.
“It wasn’t a pretty win, but we’ll take it,” Marshall said. “We’ve got a long way to go.”
So do the Colts who failed to score in the first half for the second straight week — something they last did in consecutive games in 1997.
Indy is 0-2 for second consecutive season, but this time seems a lot different. After going 21 of 37 for 250 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions, Luck has now thrown five picks in the first two weeks. He also lost a fumble to the Jets.
And fans, who were so eager to see Robert Mathis return and Jeff Saturday inducted into the team’s ring of honor, booed heartily as the problems mounted.
Fitzpatrick’s 6-yard TD pass to Decker and a 35-yard field goal from Nick Folks made it 10-0 at halftime.
Luck finally answered with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief early in the fourth quarter, but Fitzpatrick threw a 15-yard TD pass to Marshall and Folk made a 46-yard field goal to close out the scoring.
Here are some other takeaways from Monday’s game:
THE PENAL CODE: When the Jets’ defense wasn’t forcing miscues, the Colts were their own worst enemy. They were called for 11 penalties and the steady stream seemed to continually bring back big plays and stall drives. “I don’t think we’re a perfect, well-oiled machine right now. You’re never that in the second week of the season,” Luck said.
REVIS RULES: Revis has long been a thorn in the side of the Colts, and he was at it again Monday. The veteran cornerback recovered two fumbles including one in his own end zone to stop one Indy drive and picked off Luck once, too.
INJURY WATCH: Decker is expected to have an MRI on his injured knee Tuesday. But the injuries could be more problematic for Indy. The Colts started the game without cornerbacks Greg Toler (neck) and Darius Butler (hip) and finished the game without their top cornerback Vontae Davis (concussion). Tight end Dwayne Allen also did not return after injuring his ankle.
RUNNING IN PLACE: Both teams had trouble running. Chris Ivory led the Jets with 14 carries for 57 yards, but New York averaged just 3.7 yards on 27 carries against a defense that struggled to stop the Bills last week. Gore, meanwhile, started fast but finished with 15 carries for 57 yards and the fumble. Indy wound up with 24 carries for 93 yards.
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