Can the New York Jets get their first win vs Indianapolis Colts?

  • Adam Gase
  • Frank Gore
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Jamison Crowder
  • Le'Veon Bell
  • Mekhi Becton
  • New York Jets
  • Philip Rivers
  • Quenton Nelson
  • T.Y. Hilton
By Tommy Griffenkranz September 25, 2020 0 Comment
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With a head coach under fire, can the Jets win against the NFL’s top-ranked defense, or are they just too short-handed and poorly coached?

Sam Darnold and the New York Jets head to Indianapolis to take on Philip Rivers and the Colts. These teams have faced off five times since 2011, New York winning four of those five games. The Colts evened up their record to 1-1 by defeating the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Jets have lost each of the first to games both by double digits.

Jets vs Colts Game Details

Date/Time: September 27, 4:05 p.m. ET

TV Coverage: CBS

Weather: Dome

Odds: Draft Kings, Colts -11.5, Game Total: 44

Colts Preview, Running Game

Last week the Colts were able to get the ground game going after struggling on the ground in week one. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor ran for 101 yards, the first 100 yard game of his young career. Taylor takes over for Marlon Mack who suffered a season-ending injury in week one. Establishing the run behind an excellent offensive line is a key for the Colts offense.

The Jets have given up 284 rushing yards through two games. The ability to stop the run was one of the keys to the Jets 6-2 finish in 2019.  The Jets defense has had the propensity to give up the big play on the ground. Last week they allowed an 80-yard run and a 55-yard run.

Colts passing game

T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman Jr. could find their stride against a Jets defense that has allowed 483 yards through the air in the first two games. The Colts lost receiver Parris Campbell for at least three weeks with a knee injury, losing their deep threat. With tight end Jack Doyle out last week, Mo Alie-Cox looked unstoppable. Alie-Cox hauled in five passes for 111 yards. San Francisco 49ers tight end Jordan Reed caught seven passes for 50 yards, scoring twice, last week against the Jets.

Rivers threw for 363 yards in week one, scoring once and adding two interceptions. Last week he passed for 214 yards, one touchdown, and one pick. At this stage in his career, the Colts would prefer Rivers not to have the heavy workload he had in week one.

Defense, defense, defense

For years with Peyton Manning and then Andrew Luck, the Colts were synonymous with offense. After two weeks the Colts boast the number one defense in the NFL. They have allowed an NFL best 416 total yards and just 245 passing yards.

Safety Malik Hooker was lost for the season with a torn Achilles, rookie Julian Blackmon stepped in for Hooker, deflecting a pass that led to an interception. Blackmon who had, two passes defended last week against Minnesota, played in his first game since tearing his ACL in college.

Jets Preview, so many injuries

The Jets have had a staggering amount of injuries. Now, this Sunday they will be without five starters on offense, including running back Le’Veon Bell, center Conner McGovern, and their top three wide receivers. Darnold will be without all of his top weapons, except tight end Chris Herndon.

Jets passing game

Herndon was expected to be a major part of the Jets passing game in 2020, but he has yet to bust out. The Colts have allowed opposing tight ends just three catches for 11 yards through two games. With the Jets down receivers, Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and Denzel Mims, Herndon needs to step up.

Known as a pass-catcher, Herndon has spent far too much time as a blocker thus far. Head coach Adam Gase needs to get him and fellow tight end Ryan Griffin on the field more together in 12 personnel.

Much less Gore

With Bell on IR, Frank Gore received 21 carries for 63 yards against the 49ers last week. Gore is an all-time great but at 37 years old there is little reason for the Jets not to give those carries to rookie La’Mical Perine. Perine offers much more big play ability.

Perine is also a threat in the passing game, and Darnold needs all the weapons he can get. Gore at this point offers very little in the passing game as a receiver.

Bright spots for the Jets

Two bright spots for New York have been the last two first-round picks. 2018 first-round pick, defensive tackle, Quinnen Williams had his coming out party last week. Williams had two sacks, seven tackles, and a forced fumble. The Alabama product faces a tough matchup this week against Colts left guard Quenton Nelson.

The second bright spot for the Jets has been this year’s first-round pick left tackle Mekhi Becton. Becton has been better than advertised.  He is the highest graded rookie thus far according to Pro Football Focus. ESPN’s Damien Woody tweeted, “I would venture to say he’s one of the best OTs in the game already”. Woody was replying NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger tweet calling Becton “the league’s best rookie”

Can the Jets offensive line stop Colts pass rush?

Jets have the daunting task of trying to block the Colts defensive line without McGovern and right tackle George Fant. Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is a disruptive force, having recorded 1.5 sacks four quarterback hits thus far in 2020. Indianapolis has tallied seven sacks and 19 quarterback pressures in 2020.

Justin Houston versus Becton should be a fun matchup to watch as the rookie continues to impress. Becton held up well early last week against Nick Bosa before Bosa left the game with a season-ending knee injury.

Jets vs Colts predictions

It is hard to see a path for the Jets to win this game after putting forth two non-competitive performances to start the season. At full strength, this would have been a difficult matchup for New York, but down five starters on offense, this one could get ugly early.

Gase has been unwilling to alter his game plan and use the strengths of the players he has. Playing primarily 11 personnel when you are missing your top three receivers makes little sense. They need to continue to run on first down where they have found success this season, to set up the play-action passing game. Gase has not done that using play-action on just 15% of dropbacks.

The Jets have come out flat the first two games and Gase’s seat is red hot. Expect the Colts to win and cover the 11.5 spread.

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