The New York Jets are on a short week, taking on the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football. Coming off of a great win in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Jets look to move to 3-5, while the Colts look to bounce back after a tough loss to the Tennessee Titans. While these teams are seemingly on the opposite trajectories, this game should still be a close one, assuming the Jets can replicate the magic they captured a week ago.
The Jets will be starting Week 8 AFC Offensive Player of the Week in Mike White, five days after he shocked the world and threw for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns. White was a pleasant surprise for Jets fans everywhere and should he look anywhere near as good as he did against the Bengals, the Jets might have a real quarterback competition on their hands. Time will tell if he will, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Another thing to keep an eye on is how the receivers group looks against a vulnerable Colts defensive backfield. Against the Bengals, we saw Denzel Mims getting the start outside, as well as Jeff Smith getting a few snaps here and there. Will this continue? Joe Douglas said in a press conference this week that Mims has “earned more playing time.” Hopefully they keep Elijah Moore involved as well, especially on sweeps and screens.
Finally, the defense woke up a little bit this past week, and they will look to build on their performance against an inconsistent Colts offense. Carson Wentz is a heart attack personified and he may give the Jets plenty of opportunities to capitalize on silly turnovers. One way they can create these turnovers is generating pressure, something they have excelled at this season. With a weakened offensive line without Quenton Nelson, the boys in the trenches may have a big game. Should Nelson come back this week, expect a lot less.
The Colts are coming off of a tough loss to the Titans, a game that they led 14-0. Carson Wentz threw two early touchdowns to breakout receiver Michael Pittman Jr., but the offense lacked consistency for the rest of the game. After scoring the first two touchdowns in the first seven and a half minutes of the first quarter, they didn’t score again until the final seconds of the first half. There are some long dry spells for this offense that the Jets might be able to take advantage of.
On the other side of the ball, the Colts defense is actually pretty good. They rank 12th in yards per game allowed, and 14th in points per game allowed. The strength of the Colts defense is their ability to create turnovers, (16 in eight games!), but this is an unsustainable and inconsistent way to win on defense. If the Jets can play smart football, something they haven’t done much of this season, they can keep the offense on the field.
Some of the better players to watch out for are Pittman Jr., who should be matched up with Bryce Hall on the outside, and Jonathan Taylor, who is currently second in the NFL in rushing. The Jets have been getting gashed by opposing rushing attacks this season, outside of the Bengals and Joe Mixon. C.J. Mosley proved to be infinitely valuable in Week 8, but if Jonathan Taylor can take over, good luck.
This week will take an opportunity to introduce a new section to the preview; a prediction! This week, the Colts will win by a score of 31-21. Watch for Michael Carter to have a big game, and Elijah Moore to stay involved this week. On the flip side, look for Jonathan Taylor to impose his will, rushing for over 100 yards.
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