Rushing: Jets Can Hit Reset Button With A Win Over Banged-Up Colts

The Jets can put their three-game losing streak in the rearview mirror with a win over the banged-up Indianapolis Colts.

Last week, the Jets flew back into the win column with an impressive 34-16 win over the Denver Broncos. It was an all-around effort featuring the run-game, big pass-plays, and a strong showing from the defense.

A win this week over the Colts (1-4) puts the Jets (2-3) back at .500 for the season. The opportunity is there for a season reset, Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

Luck On A Record Pace

Quarterback Andrew Luck is back for the Colts after missing all of last season because of shoulder surgery. Luck is on a record-setting pace for most completions and attempts in a season. He leads the NFL in completions, 163, and attempts, 145.

The reliance on Luck’s throwing arm is largely due to the fact the Colts are struggling to run the football. They’re averaging 74.4 yards per game rushing, ranked 29th in the league.

Luck is the engine for the Colts’ offense, they’ll go as far as he takes them. But while it’s good for the league to have him back, the pass-heavy offense will eventually take its toll. They need to see vast improvement in their run-game.

The Jets will look for another strong showing from their defensive line to pressure Luck into making bad decisions. Leonard Williams has been causing havoc for the Jets lately, he picked up 2.5 sacks last week against the Broncos.

The Injury Report

The Jets ability to apply pressure on Luck will be a major key in this game. Both teams have recently been hit hard by injuries in key areas.

Indianapolis will be without wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight end Jack Doyle. But the Jets have confirmed cornerback Buster Skrine will sit out because of the concussion he suffered against Denver. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson is also expected to miss his second straight game with an injured quadriceps muscle.

It’ll be the pass-heavy offense, without two key receiving threats, against a defense missing two of their top three cornerbacks. For the Jets, they need a strong game upfront to offset what they’re missing in the secondary.

Darnold, The Offense, And Balance

On offense, Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold continues to draw high praise around the NFL for his poise in the pocket.

“I like the way he moves in the pocket and keeps his eyes down field,” former Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said about Darnold. “He’s not looking to run, he’s not looking to rush the throws, he just has a natural feel for it. That’s one of the hardest things when you’re teaching those guys. He can make every throw, that’s for sure. Sure, it’s gonna be a learning curve. He’s gonna have some great moments, he’s gonna have some bad moments. But the best thing is you look at him and his resiliency and how he handles those moments, good and bad. For a young guy, that, to me, has been very impressive.”

The best thing the Jets can do for Darnold is continue to build off of last week’s balanced offensive attack. This means getting their ground attack going early must remain a priority in the game plan.

Isaiah Crowell set a franchise record last week with 219 rushing yards, on 15 carries, for the Jets in their win over Denver. Crowell’s big-time performance helped him take over the AFC lead with 390 rushing yards. That’s good enough for third in the NFL, behind Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley.

Crowell, however is banged up too.

The Jets have listed Crowell as a game day decision because of his ankle.


If the Jets can continue to supply Darnold with a run game solid enough to create opportunities for more plays down field, this game shapes up good for them.

The Colts will need to find a way to get more help for Luck and his throwing arm. They’ve lost three games in a row and another loss could put a lid on their season.

These are two banged up teams. But the Jets have enough on defense to overpower a young offensive line protecting Luck.

The Extra Point

This will be the second of a three-game homestand for the Jets.

Bruce Arians will be in the broadcast booth for this week’s game. Jets head coach Todd Bowles was defensive coordinator for Arians when he was head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

Arians also was the interim head coach for the Colts during Andrew Luck’s rookie season. He led the Colts to a 9-3 record while then-coach Chuck Pagano was recovering from Leukemia.




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