After facing two of the best all around teams in the league, the Indianapolis Colts led by rookie phenom Andrew Luck, are coming to Metlife Stadium this weekend. With the media in a frenzy about Mark Sanchez vs. Tim Tebow, Rex’s accountability, and Tannenbaum’s lack of knowledge as a scout, the Jets have had many distractions the past few weeks. In order to quiet these distractions, Mark Sanchez and the offense have to start to look like a well-oiled machine. They can’t be successful averaging 87 yards per game on the ground. They can’t afford for miscommunications between offensive line and quarterback, and quarterback and his receivers. In order to silence the critics, the Jets will have to put together a solid game against the Colts.
The Colts hold the overall lead in the series 40-26, but lost the last time the two teams played in 2011 playoffs.
Andrew Luck has shown that picking him #1 overall will be well worth it in the future for the Colts. He is surprisingly agile, has excellent poise in the pocket, makes tremendously smart decisions for a rookie and has a very good arm. He can make all the throws and with Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery, and deep threat. T.Y. Hilton. His tight ends are Dwayne Allen and Luck’s college classmate Coby Fleener.
Running the ball is Vick Ballard (21 rush, 42 yards). Ballard will now be taking the majority of the plays at running back because Donald Brown is out 2-3 weeks with a knee injury.
This could be a good week for the defensive line of the Jets. With a lack of a running game, and the fact that Luck has been sacked 9 times so far this season, it could be a breakout game for the Jet’s defensive line.
Colts Offense vs. Jets Defense ADVANTAGE: Jets
The defensive line of the Colts is mediocre at best. However, they make up for it with perennial Pro-Bowler Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Teams have accounted for Freeney which has helped Mathis get 5 sacks so far this season, as well as, defensive end Cory Redding get to the quarterback twice.
Jerrell Freeman(LB) leads the Colts with 22 tackles this season and one interception. The defensive backs are very athletic. The corners are Vontae Davis (traded from Dolphins in offseason), and Jerraud Powers (6 pass deflections). Tom Zbikowski and Antoine Bethea bring a veteran presence to the defensive backfield.
With the Jets struggling to run the ball, they need to get a run game established early and often against the Colts. They need to sustain drives to keep Luck and the big play capability of the Colts offense off the field. A bounce back game is a necessity from Sanchez as the media is already calling for him to be replaced, traded, or released. Rex Ryan has made it clear that Mark is the starting quarterback, but a bad game against the Colts can lead to even more speculation. Sanchez and the Jets will need to take advantage of the aggressive nature of the Colts defensive backs and take what the defense gives them, which this week, can be a 300 yard passing day.
Colts Defense vs Jets Offense ADVANTAGE: Colts
Indianapolis has Adam Vinatieri as their place kicker. A 40 year old veteran who has been a big game kicker his entire career. This year he is 7-10 on field goals with a long of 53 yards.
Their punter is Pat McAfee who’s averaging 49 yards per punt.
Returning kicks for the Colts are Lavon Brazill and T.Y. Hilton who are speedsters and can change the course of a game with one long return.
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