Coming into the season, the Jets had hope for a productive and competitive season. However, after two non-competitive games, it seems as if the Jets are heading in the wrong direction.
This game comes at a perfect time for the Colts, as they’re coming off their first win of the season. Yet, they still have some work to do before they can be labeled a consistently good team. This match-up will allow them to work on things and get better against a bad team.
However, at the end of the day, the Jets are still an NFL football team and the Colts will need to make sure to take care of business early. As long as they control these three key aspects of the game, we should be back here next week, talking about a good Colts team sitting at 2-1.
1) Win The Turnover Battle:
Philip Rivers did a much better job in Week 2 of taking what the defense gave him and limiting his risky throws. With that being said, he still threw an interception, giving him three total turnovers through two games. This trend cannot continue if the Colts want to be a serious contender, come December.
The best way to give a bad team life is to hand them the ball. The Jets on the season have three total takeaways as well, recovering two fumbles against the Bills and picking off the 49ers once in Week 2. Giving the Jets life early on in the game may be exactly what they need to pull off the upset.
It will take a lot for the Jets to beat the Colts this week; but, if Philip Rivers or any member of the Colts offense turn the ball over, it will be that much easier. As long as the Colts can limit turnovers and not put the Jets in good field position, I don’t see any other way this Jets team can beat the Colts.
2) Run The Ball:
Jonathan Taylor rushed for his first 100-yard game this season. It only took him two weeks, and he has a very good chance to do it again in Week 3. I joked around in my Week 2 review that the Colts read my article and decided to use my game plan against the Vikings. The funny part is that it shouldn’t have taken them until Week 2 to figure out that they’re a run-first team.
The Jets currently rank 25th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game at 140. This seems so easy that I shouldn’t even have to say it, but all the same, I will: RUN THE BALL. Philip Rivers, at this point in his career, should not be throwing more than 30 times a game with any regularity. Jonathan Taylor is your shiny new toy, so use him. Play to your team’s strengths, control the line of scrimmage, and bully the Jets into submission.
It really is as simple as that: bad teams want to lose, and the worst thing you can do is give them hope. The Colts need to punch the Jets in the mouth in the first quarter, run the ball down their throat, and take the second half off.
3) Pressure Sam Darnold:
Mekhi Becton has played two games in the NFL. So far, he has shown to be absolutely worth the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. The rest of the Jets offensive line, however…
DeForest Buckner is a beast. He opens lanes for his teammates and dominates on the interior with a mixture of power, length, and quickness. The rest of the Colts front-seven aren’t slackers, either. After two weeks, the Colts are tied for third in the NFL with seven sacks. Getting to Sam Darnold shouldn’t be an issue in this game, and if the Colts manage to do it with regularity, this game won’t be close.
No quarterback does well under constant pressure and Sam Darnold is no different. Getting to the QB is the name of the game, and while putting pressure on the QB is very easy to say, it is much harder to do. It’s up to the Colts to get that done this weekend.
Sam Darnold has shown repeatedly that he does not perform well under pressure. If you don’t believe me, let me just remind you of his Week 7 game against the New England Patriots last season. I do believe the phrase “I’m seeing Ghosts” was mentioned. Darnold has potential, but his lack of adjustments in his early career and overall lack of consistent weapons has doomed him. As long as the Colts attack him early and often, he might be seeing more than just ghosts this weekend.
In Week 3, the Colts have a game they need to win against a hapless Jets team; now it is just about executing the game plan.
(Featured Image Credit: Colts.com)