EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Andrew Luck was nearly perfect in his return from a concussion, throwing for four touchdowns, three to Dwayne Allen, in the Indianapolis Colts’ 41-10 romp Monday night past the inept New York Jets.
Not that Luck had to work very hard against the hosts, who were booed by a much-less-than-filled MetLife Stadium almost from the outset.
Luck missed last week’s loss to Pittsburgh, cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol on the weekend, and came back in style with a prime-time performance. He lifted Indianapolis (6-6) into a tie for the lead in the AFC South with Tennessee and Houston.
Allen and T.Y. Hilton were his main targets as he went 22 of 28 for 278 yards, and they received little opposition from the Jets (3-9).
This one couldn’t have come easier for Indianapolis. The Colts toyed with the lifeless Jets from the beginning, when New York’s Jeremy Ross got to only his 11-yard line with the opening kickoff return. A three-and-out gave Luck the ball, and seven plays later, he hit a wide-open Allen for a 7-0 edge.
Indy needed only four plays on its next series, with Allen even more open for a 21-yard reception to make it 14-0. At that juncture, the Colts had gained 120 yards, the Jets 6.
Those figures wound up 421 to 250. Indy scored its most points since Week 13 of 2014; the Jets allowed their most since Week 8 of that season.
The Jets (3-9) finally found some spark after Pat McAfee’s punt was downed at their 3. Matt Forte turned a short pass into a 40-yard gain with a nasty move on Rashaan Melvin, but that drive stalled and Nick Folk made a 38-yard field goal.
That temporarily quieted the boobirds in the stadium. But Luck hit Hilton for 23 yards on Indy’s next play, Gore ran for 19 and Adam Vinatieri kicked a 53-yard field goal to make it 17-3.
And when Allen set a career best with this third TD reception on a perfect 23-yard throw from Luck, the rout was on.
Donte Moncrief added a 3-yard touchdown, the sixth straight game he has caught one. Hilton continually victimized cornerback Darrelle Revis and other Jets DBs, making nine catches for 146 yards. Hilton went over 1,000 yards for the fourth time in his five pro seasons.
New York has lost four in a row and is 1-5 at home. Its performance Monday night can’t be of any help to coach Todd Bowles, who led the Jets to a 10-6 mark a year ago in his first season in charge.
The Colts barely missed being up 31-3 at the half. Jack Doyle lost the ball while reaching for the pylon late in the second quarter, resulting in a touchback.
WHO’S THE QB?
Bowles replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick (5 for 12, 81 yards, one interception) with Bryce Petty to start the second half. Didn’t matter at all.
VP IN THE HOUSE
Vice President-elect Mike Pence was a guest of Jets owner Woody Johnson. He didn’t see much of a game.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
The Jets held a moment of silence before the game to honor former running back Joe McKnight, killed last Thursday in Louisiana. Authorities said McKnight, 28, was shot during a road rage incident.
McKnight had a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in 2011, and it stands as the longest play in Jets history.
Colts: LB D’Qwell Jackson left in the fourth quarter with a neck injury. RG Denzelle Good left in the first half with a concussion.
Jets LB Julian Stanford hurt his ankle in the third quarter and S Antonio Allen sustained a head injury in the final period. C Nick Mangold returned from a four-game hiatus because of a sprained ankle.
The Colts host Houston in a first-place division showdown.
The Jets visit San Francisco, quite possibly with Petty as their starting quarterback.