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Colts Weekly Preview: Week 2 New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts
Trying to put last week behind them, the Colts are hosting the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. The Colts did not look good in their game last week, and if you want to know what I thought you can check out my Week 1 Recap.
I watched every minute of the Browns at Jets game with the NFL GAME PASS and even though the Jets appeared to dominate the game against the browns, it wasn’t as impressive as the stat sheet looks. The Browns shot themselves in the foot, time and time again. The one possession that their starting quarterback, Josh McCown, played, they moved the ball down the field with ease and then McCown fumbled into the end zone on the play he suffered a concussion.
The Jets forced a total of five turnovers, four of which were fumbles. You can argue that the Jets forced those turnovers, but they were careless mistakes by the Browns, who also racked up over one hundred yards in penalties during the game. One area that the Colts will certainly need to worry about is the running game of the Jets. However, the Jets were able to stick with the run because they had the lead the entire second half and were milking the clock.
The Jets are a significantly improved from last year, but they are going to have their hands full with a desperate Colts team. The Colts are only 0-1 but this still feels like a must win for the Colts, even though the only team in the division to win last week was the Tennessee Titans.
What are the Colts’ strengths in this game?
Despite his struggles in Sunday’s loss to the Bills, Andrew Luck is still one of the best quarterbacks in this league. Whenever Luck is on the field, you feel like your team has a chance to win. He does make poor decisions at times, and puts his team in a tough spot, but he has the ability to overcome those mistakes. This week the signal caller may have to find some luck without star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who is listed as questionable for Monday’s matchup. With the rest of the talent in the skill positions of the offense, I think he will be just fine and quiet some of his critics.
The Colts have one of the better secondaries in the NFL, led by Vonte Davis. They only allowed fourteen receptions against the Bills, most of which were screens and dump offs. They allowed Percy Harvin (one of the fastest players in the NFL) to get behind them for one big play. I think the Colts secondary will be able to keep the Jets’ passing game in check on Monday.
What are the Jets’ strengths in this game?
The Jets’ have a very solid front seven on the defensive side of the ball. They are very good at stopping the run, which isn’t good for the Colts because they can rely on the hogs up front to stop the run and focus on stopping Luck and the passing game.
The Jets also flex their muscles in the running game. They were able to run the ball for 154 yards on 36 carries which comes out to a 4.3 yard average per run. Their main two running backs, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, were also able to get big chunk yardage on the ground, which are killers for the defense.
What are the Colts’ weaknesses in this game?
The Colts historically have struggled at stopping the run and that doesn’t seem to have changed, at least not through the first game this year. They gave up 147 yards rushing against the Bills on 36 attempts (4.1 yard average). They will need to fix this if they want to win on Monday.
Another area where the Colts struggle is running the ball themselves. It makes you wonder if the Colts can run the ball on their own defense, with each of them being bad. Frank Gore got going early in the game on Sunday, and then the Colts went away from the run. I would like to see them mix it up a little more. Gore should at least reach 15 touches himself, he only ran the ball 8 times.
What are the Jets’ weaknesses in this game?
This will come as shock to most, but I think the Jets’ secondary is suspect. I realize they have one of, if not the best, cornerback in the game in Derrell Revis, but “Revis Island” can only stop one person per play. If Hilton is back, he will likely be covering him, which leaves Andre Johnson being covered by a backup cornerback, replacing an injured Antonio Cromartie.
The Jets’ are also still looking for a more permanent solution at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick did a good job in week one, but he didn’t have to throw the Jets into the game. Their defense was able to put them in good positions and they were able to rely on their running game. If the Colts can pressure Fitzpatrick, like they did when he played with Houston last year, he is prone to making mistakes.
Colts’ Keys to the Game:
Can the Colts stay balanced?
The Colts cannot afford to become one dimensional like they did against the Bills. They need to establish the run and continue running the ball. It seemed like the couple times the Colts ran the ball outside the tackles they actually did pretty well. If they can get yards on the ground to put them in 3rd and favorable, rather than 3rd and long, they will have more success.
Can the Colts slow down the running game of the Jets?
The Colts actually did a pretty good job stopping the run against the Bills. “BUT JOSH THEY RAN FOR ALMOST 150 YARDS!” I realize this, however, Tyrod Taylor did not have a single called run, and was forced to run nine times when he dropped back to pass. He picked up an extra 41 yards on the ground for the Bills. The Jets don’t have a quarterback that can extend plays like that. So instead of gaining yards, and maybe a first down, they Colts may actually get a sack or two.
Can the Colts play a clean game?
The Colts were one of the least penalized teams in the league last year. Last week they committed 5 penalties for 49 yards, which actually isn’t terrible, even though it is a little high for the Colts. The timing of the turnovers were killer. On their first drive, Luck hit Dwayne Allen for a long reception, and it was all brought back because of a hold. The Colts also struggled with turnovers, they lost the turnover battle 3-0, which isn’t a good recipe for winning. They will want to win the turnover battle, and if possible not commit any.
Jets’ Keys to the Game:
Can the Jets throw Luck off his game?
Andrew Luck was on the move last week as the Bills blitzed almost 50% of the game. Normally, Luck punishes those who blitz on him, but he struggled on Sunday. If the Jets can put pressure on Luck and lock down his targets, Luck will likely continue to struggle. Ideally, the Jets will be able to get pressure on Luck with just a four man rush, which will allow for the rest of the defense to play the pass.
Can the Jets continue to run the ball effectively?
The Jets were able to rely on the running game, and were never really forced to pass last week. That is what the Jets need to be the most successful. Against the Colts, they shouldn’t have any issues continuing to get the running game going, but can they turn their drives into points and get the lead or stay even with the Colts. If they fall behind, staying with the run becomes very hard to do.
Can they Jets slow down the Colts’ offense?
This seems like a silly question, as the Colts offense hasn’t looked very good through the first week. However, they didn’t play all that poorly. The Colts had four possessions in the second half, two of which were touchdowns, one was a punt, and then a 4th down desperation throw that fell out of Andre Johnson’s hands into the defender’s hands. The Jets will have to impose their will on the Colts and get pressure on Luck, while stopping the run, and defending the pass.
Who will win?
This could be a good game, but I think we are prisoners of the moment and like to overreact. The Jets played well, the Colts played poorly, so the Jets are going to destroy the Colts, right? I don’t think so… If we were looking at this as the week one game, the Colts would be heavy favorites. In fact, Vegas has them as a 7 point favorite anyway. I am LOVING the Colts this week, and I don’t think the game will be very close.
Colts 34 Jets 17
For the rest of my predictions for this week check out my NFL Week 2 Preview!