The Indianapolis Colts head into their game against the New York Jets on Monday night desperate not to fall into a 0-2 hole to begin the 2015 season, while the Jets aim to prove they’re a legit contender in the AFC after a convincing win against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1. One of these teams is much better equipped to complete the task at hand, which is why we have the point spread set as Colts -7.
Monday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets
Point Spread: Colts -7 Over/under: 46.5 Date: Monday, September 21, 8:30pm ET Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
New York Jets
Their record says 1-0, but their 31-10 win was against the woeful Cleveland Browns in a fairly sloppy game. While Geno Smith was declared starting quarterback in the offseason, the punch heard ‘round the world has relegated him to back-up after Ryan Fitzpatrick played well against the Browns and could be the outright starter even after Geno is cleared to return to action. They’ll have a tougher test against the Colts, but this game could be closer than many think.
While Fitzpatrick played well enough to beat a bad Browns team, New York’s staff won’t expect him to do more than just avoid mistakes on clear passing situations or force the ball into coverage to his receivers. For the most part, the work load will go to running back Chris Ivory.
The Jets will have their hands full on offense against Andrew Luck despite a poor showing in Week 1. A lack of a running game on Indianapolis’ part means the Jets’ defensive line can pin their ears back and get to Luck in hopes of forcing him into a few turnovers. New York will be without Antonio Cromartie in the secondary, but the pressure up front should be enough to help the secondary play tightly on the Colts’ receivers.
The Colts really laid an egg against Buffalo last week after heading into the season as one of the most popular Super Bowl 50 bets. While they’re still likely to be contenders in a bad AFC South division, it’s troubling to see a them lose a game they should have won. The blame lays on the offensive and the entire defense.
Rushing for only 64 yards total last week, Indianapolis’ running backs won’t find much daylight against the Jets either, which puts all of the pressure squarely on Luck. He’ll be desperate for time in the pocket against another good defensive line in the Jets. Expect a lot of quick timing routes right off the bat to help give the Colts offensive line some confidence and for the whole offense to find a rhythm.
Defensively, the Colts haven’t played well, giving up 147 yards on the ground to the Bills and 195 more in the air. They simply aren’t getting pressure on the quarterback and lack skill in the secondary to make up for it.
Monday Night Prediction
The Jets outmatch the Colts at just about every position on the field except for quarterback, which in this league can be all you really need. The outcome will heavily depend on which Andrew Luck shows up on Monday night and whether or not the offensive line holds up, but if the Jets get it going on the ground, force a couple of turnovers and control the tempo, it could be closer than the point spread suggests.