Sam Darnold, Philip Rivers
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Jets’ contest against the Indianapolis Colts is as “must-win” as a Week 3 game can get. The following is what you need to know.

Robby Sabo

A grand total of 18 players appear on the New York Jets’ Friday injury report. Eighteen. That’s just four players short of an entire offense and defense combined.

Man, oh man; what is going on in Florham Park, NJ? Nothing this team does at practice is any different from the other 31 NFL organizations. They stretch properly before practice (in a dynamic fashion) and seemingly take all the precautions necessary.

Nevertheless, for the second-straight year, Adam Gase’s squad has been decimated, and it doesn’t get any easier for his 0-2 squad in Week 3 when they take on the Colts in Indianapolis.

Where, When?

The 1-1 Colts are a tough, talented team. Their Week 1 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn’t be viewed as anything out of the ordinary. Those two AFC South teams always play each other tough no matter the circumstances.

Uniform

The Jets will be dressed in their road white tops with green pants (contrasting with the white-on-white look from the home-opener a week ago). Week 1 marks the only occasion the team has worn the green tops thus far this season (on the road in Buffalo).

Odds (Sportsbook)

  • Money line: Colts -575 (bet $575, win $100) | Jets +430 (Bet $100, win $430)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Colts -11.5 (-110) | Jets +11.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 44 (O: -110, U: -110)

The 11.5 spread is a tricky one. A week ago, the Jets were 7-point home underdogs to the San Francisco 49ers, and we all know how that turned out.

Bet on the Jets at your own risk.

Injury Report

New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, Injury Report

As previously mentioned, the Jets showcased an incredible 18 players on Friday’s injury report. Only (only?) eight Jets remain on the report heading into Sunday.

With Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder out, that means, along with Denzel Mims who remains on IR, Darnold will be without his top three receivers.

Lawrence Cager has been elevated to the active roster (with interior offensive lineman Jimmy Murray), which means only four wideouts will be dressed for the game. (Oh yeah, Braxton Berrios, one of the four, is questionable with a bum hammy.)

Chuma Edoga will start at right tackle, and if Connor McGovern can’t go (he practiced in limited form Friday), Josh Andrews should start at center.

The Colts enter the contest relatively healthy. Matthew Adams and Rock Ya-Sin are out while tight end Jack Doyle is questionable.

Keys to the Game

Take what the defense gives you

Offensively, the Jets need to worry about themselves so much more than the opponent right now. Gase’s conservative game plan last week against the Niners completely took his quarterback and the offense out of the game.

Limiting one’s own opportunities will always come back to haunt a unit. Against a Tampa 2 defense like the Colts, Gase must allow Darnold to adjust at the line and take shots into one-on-one coverage downfield if it’s there early in the game, and it should be considering no defensive coordinator respects the Jets’ weapons.

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Gamble against Rivers

Rivers can still play, no question, but his arm strength is suspect. Facing one of the best offensive lines in the league, with a young stud back, Gregg Williams must play things aggressively early.

Make sure Marcus Maye is in the box and have the corners hard. Stop the run and force Rivers to take shots downfield early—no matter the matchup. If he beats you, tip your cap and adjust. If not, the Jets won’t allow Frank Reich‘s team to get going on the ground, which gives the Jets offense a shot to grab an early lead.

Prediction

  • New York Jets 20, Indianapolis Colts 28

Nobody in his or her right mind can take the Jets to outright win this game (or any game right now, for that matter). However, considering the 11.5 spread, taking the Jets as a road underdog might be a decent idea.

The heat on Gase may just force him to open it up completely and trust in Darnold early. Hopefully, that leads to adjustments at the line and shots into one-on-one shots downfield.

In the end, however, the Jets’ injuries, the Colts offensive line and Rivers’s experience will be too much. Expect a two-score Indy victory.


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