Luck, Colts bemoan mistakes in sloppy loss to Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Andrew Luck expects a lot more out of
himself at this point in his career. He also figures the
Indianapolis Colts would have had a few more wins right now.

The losses are piling up, though, and a four-game skid had the
quarterback pondering whether it’s tough finding the joy in
football.

”At times, especially when I do things – stupid is the only word
that comes to mind,” Luck said after a 42-34 loss to the New York
Jets on Sunday. ”We do some silly things to ourselves, but when it
comes to having fun playing, I’m having fun playing.”

The results just haven’t been there yet for the Colts (1-5), who
made a handful of mistakes in this one as their season begins to
spiral.

”It’s a bit frustrating,” Luck said. ”I feel like a broken
record, but talking about it, that’s the easy part. It’s doing it,
living it, but I’m not discouraged.”

Luck was 23 of 43 for 301 yards with touchdowns to Marcus Johnson,
Eric Ebron, Erik Swoope and Chester Rogers, but he was also
intercepted three times. The first came on the Colts’ second play
of scrimmage when Morris Claiborne took a tipped pass 17 yards to
the end zone to put Indianapolis in an early hole.

The Colts turned the ball over four times, and the Jets (3-3) took
advantage.

”Unfortunately, it was kind of a similar formula,” coach Frank
Reich said. ”Just too many mistakes early.”

The Colts were playing short-handed with several starters
sidelined, including wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, defensive linemen
Denico Autry and Margus Hunt, tight end Jack Doyle, safety Clayton
Geathers and right tackle Denzelle Good.

Despite that, Indianapolis was still in the game late.

The Jets built a 30-13 lead early in the third quarter, but the
Colts chipped away. Luck’s 2-yard TD pass to Swoope made it 33-27
just 8 seconds into the final period – plenty of time to turn
things around.

Instead, Jason Myers kicked three of his Jets-record seven field
goals to make it a 15-point deficit late in the game. Luck
connected with Rogers on a 17-yard touchdown with 1:51 left, but
Rigoberto Sanchez’s onside kick was recovered by Neal Sterling and
Sam Darnold took three kneel-downs to end it.

”I can just say this at the onset: I believe in what we are
doing,” Reich said. ”I believe in our guys, but we just have to
play better football. We started that game, just too many
mistakes.”

There were several dropped passes on both sides, but there were
some egregious ones by the Colts that didn’t help Luck any.

”It’s mental,” running back Marlon Mack said. ”We just have to
lock in and focus. Everyone here can catch. We just have to lock in
and squeeze the ball.”

Luck, however, refused to point any fingers at his receivers’
slippery hands.

”I’ll be concerned about drops when I throw the perfect ball every
time I drop back, and I certainly do not do that,” he said.
”Those guys are going to keep grinding. I’m proud of them. I love
going to work with them every day. It’s a great group.”

Even with the early issues, the Colts actually led 13-10 in the
second quarter after two field goals by Adam Vinatieri.

But errors came into play again, and the Jets made the most of them.

New York forced a turnover when Jamal Adams knocked the ball out of
Robert Turbin’s hands and Jordan Jenkins recovered. Darnold
converted two third-down plays on the ensuing drive to get the ball
to the Colts 10. Darnold zipped a pass to Pryor in the front of the
end zone for a 17-13 lead with 2:35 left before halftime.

New York took advantage of another turnover when Luck’s pass to
Ryan Grant deflected off the receiver’s hands and right to Avery
Williamson, who returned the ball 31 yards to the Colts 22. That
resulted in a 48-yarder by Myers that put New York in front 20-13.

The Colts then quickly went three-and-out – and the Jets got the
ball at their 28 with 42 seconds left before halftime. Darnold hit
a series of passes and, with 18 seconds left, found Jermaine Kearse
in the middle of the field for 23 yards. Myers booted a 32-yarder
as time expired to put New York up 23-13.

”We’re six games into this now,” Luck said. ”No one is young in
the NFL anymore. Before we can learn how to win, we have to learn
how not to lose. We have to take that step.”

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