Last year, the Indianapolis Colts proved a 0-2 start doesn’t necessarily spell disaster as they reached the AFC Championship. But ahead of their “Monday Night Football” matchup with the high-flying New York Jets, the Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck are more out to prove they are still one of the conference’s elite following a disastrous Week 1.
Ranking sixth in the league with 28.6 points per game in 2014, Luck and the Colts limped out of the gate and couldn’t reach the end zone until late in the third quarter of their 27-14 loss to Buffalo last week.
The matchup was marred by three Indianapolis turnovers, two of which were Luck interceptions, and new running back Frank Gore’s inability to break away for more than 31 yards on eight carries.
The Colts defense also struggled, particularly against the run, allowing 147 rushing yards at 4.1 yards per attempt and couldn’t force a single sack after finishing ninth in the league last season with 41 total sacks.
Other top new addition and receiver Andre Johnson showed little rapport with Luck, dropping several catchable balls to finish with four receptions for 24 yards off 10 targets.
However, Johnson stands to make up for his poor start with receiver T.Y. Hilton listed as questionable with a knee injury after leading the team with 88 yards against the Bills.
Luck, going 26-for-49 for 243 yards and two scores to go along with those picks, started the season against one of the league’s top secondarys and now has a very stiff test against a confident New York defense that forced five turnovers in their 31-10 dismantling of Cleveland in Week 1.
The Jets, with first-year head coach Todd Bowles making a stunning debut, are eyeing their first 2-0 start since 2011 and look to keep pace with an on-fire New England squad in the AFC East.
New York’s also seeking its first opening road game victory since 2010, the same year it last went to the playoffs and reached the AFC title game.
Led by running back Chris Ivory’s 91 rushing yards and two touchdowns, with new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick posting a solid debut of 179 yards and two scores, the Jets racked up 333 total yards and also extended drives with a 7-for-13 third down conversion rate. Last season the Jets were 20 th in the league on third down, converting only 38.9 percent of their attempts to extend drives.
But on defense is where the Jets excelled thanks to the return of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie and the stacked defensive line forcing three sacks and three more quarterback hits.
However, Ivory and Cromartie’s statuses prior to the road test against the Colts are in doubt. Ivory suffered a groin injury during practices this week and is listed as questionable, while Cromartie endured a scary knee injury against the Browns that many thought would end his season. He’s also listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis this week, while Ivory’s expected to play.
Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
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