The Jets finally put their trust in the running game and Shonn Greene responded with a career-high 161 yards. (US Presswire)

The New York Jets team that took the field against the Colts in a 35-9 victory on Sunday at MetLife Stadium was different than the one that has showed up for most of the season. The “ground and pound” running game that the team talked about incessantly was finally in evidence.

After rushing for 217 yards in the first five games, RB Shonn Greene had a career-high 161 against Indianapolis (2-3) to lead the Jets, who improved to 3-3.

“We needed this, there’s no doubt,” coach Rex Ryan said. “I love the fact that we were five for five in the red zone.”

QB Mark Sanchez had a modest day, doing enough to keep the offense moving forward. He finished 11 of 18 for 82 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. QB Tim Tebow completed a 23-yard pass to LB Nick Bellore for a first down on a fake punt in the fourth quarter and also ran four times for 7 yards. 

“When you run the ball that well, you never want to stop,” Sanchez said.

Like the Jets, the Colts have been dealing with numerous injuries, especially on defense, where they were missing LB Robert Mathis (knee) while LB Dwight Freeney (ankle) and CB Vontae Davis (ankle) were hobbled. The Colts won't get any sympathy from the Jets, who were in the same situation in Weeks 2 through 5 when injuries contributed to them being unable to stop the run or get the offense moving. 

Colts coach Bruce Arians said, “All right, that was very simple. If you can’t block and you can’t tackle, you can’t win."

Asked to evaluate the performance of his quarterback, Andrew Luck, Arians simply said, “Rookie.”

“We knew the Jets were going to run the ball,” Colts S Antoine Bethea said. “We had to stop it. We just didn’t do a good job of stopping the run consistently. “

Said LT Anthony Castonzo: “We were moving the ball fairly well on the ground. We just had to get away from it because we were down early.”

Luck was 22 of 44 for 280 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

“I have spoken to this point before, but just learning how to be consistent,” Luck said. “I think that is something I struggled with. I know I played poorly this week after a decent half of football last week.”

Asked for a comment on looking ahead to facing the Patriots next week, Ryan smiled and said, “I don’t feel like tugging on Superman’s cape today … but maybe tomorrow.”

When the game turned: There wasn’t one turning point. For the first time in a long time, the Jets held the lead from the start. Their ability to capitalize off Indianapolis’ turnovers were key.

Highlight moments: Another fake punt by Tebow. This time, he completed a 23-yard pass to Bellore, giving the team a first down and setting up a pass from Sanchez to WR Jason Hill for a touchdown... RB Joe McKnight’s 61-yard run in the third quarter set up a Greene touchdown... CB Ellis Lankster’s fourth-quarter interception in the end zone of Luck. Two negative highlights included two interceptions for touchdowns by CB Antonio Cromartie, both of which were then negated by Jets penalties.

Top-shelf performances:

  • RB Greene had a career-high 161 rushing yards.

  • Colts LB Jerry Hughes did a good job playing for injured LB Robert Mathis. His fourth-quarter sack of Sanchez was the only one of the game for the Colts.

What they said about LB Nick Bellore’s 23-yard catch from QB Tim Tebow on the punt fake:

  • Coach Rex Ryan: “(Owner) Woody (Johnson) before the game said, ‘Can Bellore catch?’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, absolutely.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Oh, please catch it.’”

  • QB Tim Tebow (on whether he was worried about throwing to a linebacker): “Nick’s very trustworthy. Plus, he was so excited all week.”

  • LB Nick Bellore (who has never caught a pass): “I’m the second-best receiver on the team.”

Numbers you should know:  WR Reggie Wayne had five catches for 87 yards and has surpassed 900 career catches. Greene had a career-high 161 yards rushing. The 61-yard run by McKnight was the longest rushing play by the Jets in three years. The Jets won in spite of committing eight penalties for 110 yards.

Injury update: Jets RB Bilal Powell left the game with a shoulder injury and was in a sling after the game. McKnight left the game with an ankle injury. Colts DE Cory Redding (knee), T Winston Justice (ankle) and LB Moise Foku (ankle) left the game.

Going forward: The Jets (2-3; 1-1 in the AFC East) will face the Patriots in New England on Sunday. The Jets then return home for the Dolphins in Week 8 before heading into their bye week. The Colts (2-3; 0-1 in the AFC South) return home where they will play the Browns on Sunday. They visit the Titans in Week 8.

Stay dialed in on the New York Jets by following correspondent Lisa Zimmerman on Twitter @CBSJetsand@LisaZimmerman.