Final

Colts 45

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Jets 24

(0-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, September 9, 2001

 

1 2 3 4 T
IND 3 28 7 745
NYJ 7 7 3 724

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 231 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: E. James (IND) - 28 CAR, 135 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: J. Pathon (IND) - 8 REC, 93 YDS, 1 TD

Manning skips huddles in rout

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Peyton Manning couldn't wait to get into the NFL season. So he didn't even bother to huddle.

Edgerrin James

Edgerrin James, who rushed for 135 yards, heads up field for a Colts touchdown.

The Indianapolis Colts, using a hurry-up offense for much of Sunday's game, routed the New York Jets 45-24. Manning wasn't at his sharpest, but he was plenty productive with 22 completions and two touchdowns, and Edgerrin James rushed for 135 yards.

"It really felt like we were setting the tempo out there offensively," said Manning, who threw for 231 yards. "We had a good rhythm going. We had a good plan offensively.

"I think it worked well as a change of pace. In the second half we sort of changed it to a controlled no-huddle. It could keep the Jets defense from regaining their composure."

Rarely were the Jets composed in the debut of Herman Edwards as coach. At times, they were comically inept and seemed to wilt in the 80-degree heat.

Most absurd was the play that clinched the Colts' victory, a lumbering 95-yard fumble return by defensive end Chukie Nwokorie with 5:17 to go.

VINNY CERRATO'S ANALYSIS
Question on the Colts: Will the hurry-up offense become a regular part of the Colts' attack?
Cerrato: It's something that worked, and the Colts have it in their repertoire. When they want a change-of-pace, they can go to it. But with Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison and their weapons, they'll just continue to do what they've been doing on offense -- and try to improve on defense.

Question on the Jets : What adjustments do the Jets need to make on defense?
Cerrato: They're not going to be playing Manning and James and Harrison every week, so that's one adjustment. The Jets just need to keep learning Herman Edwards' system. They're going to have to get more pressure on the quarterback and create turnovers on defense.

Vinny Cerrato, ESPN.com's NFL analyst, has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

Guard David Loverne, playing fullback on fourth-and-1 from the Indianapolis 2, collided with Vinny Testaverde as the quarterback turned with the snap. The ball ricocheted directly to Nwokorie, and the only Jet who pursued him was Testaverde. Twice, Nwokorie eluded Testaverde as the rest of the Jets watched.

"He caught the ball in midair and there was a big pileup," said Testaverde, who, like his teammates, was inconsistent all day. "He (Loverne) didn't hear the play the way it was called, but it probably was my fault that I did not make it clear. It's my responsibility."

Nwokorie, a backup, fell flat on his back when he reached the end zone to complete his improbable journey.

"In situations like that, someone has to step up," he said. "I thought of being tackled and I thought of pitching it. But I just decided to hold onto the ball and keep running."

Another strange play came on Marvin Jones' first-half interception. Manning's pass into the end zone deflected off James' hands directly to the linebacker. He started up field with the interception, but fumbled the ball back to Manning at the New York 22.

The Colts, who won their final three games last season to steal a playoff berth from the Jets, who lost their last three, actually put this one away with a 28-point second quarter. James, the NFL's leading rusher the last two seasons, had TD runs from the 29 and the 1, and Terrence Wilkins broke a 78-yard punt return for a TD with 20 seconds left in the first half.

"I was on a redeem mission," said Wilkins, who earlier muffed a punt that led to New York's second touchdown. "I knew I had to come back strong. I was thinking to forget about the last play and I kind of new I was going to do something."

Curtis Martin had a 6-yard touchdown run and Testaverde threw TD passes of 38 yards to Laveranues Coles and 5 yards to Richie Anderson for New York.

But Manning picked apart the Jets' soft zone and took advantage of a meager pass rush. He connected with Jerome Pathon for a 21-yard score and Marcus Pollard on a 5-yarder in going 22-for-32 overall. He threw for 180 yards in the opening half alone.

"It goes without saying, winning against a good team in a hostile crowd on the road, it's just an absolutely huge win," Manning said.

The Jets actually led 7-0 on Coles' TD just 4:02 into the game. It was set up by Chad Morton's 33-yard punt return.

New York also started the second half quickly, getting John Hall's 22-yard field goal after Marcus Coleman's 36-yard return of an interception. But Manning atoned for his mistake with a 75-yard drive on which he hit five of six passes.

"Obviously, this was tough," Edwards said. "It was our first go at it and I want the guys to be successful and we weren't. We just couldn't close them down."

Game notes
There were no controversies involving the replacement officials. ... Martin, who had a career-high 203 yards vs. Indianapolis last season, rushed for 79. He surpassed 10,000 yards from scrimmage for his career. ... The Colts have won five of their last six against the Jets. ... Marvin Harrison tied a Colts record for successive games with a reception. He has one in 77 straight games, tying Marshall Faulk.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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