Chris Gross – Jets 27, Colts 10 – The Jets are coming off consecutive losses at home to what are arguably the league’s two best teams. New York hasn’t lost three consecutive home games since Rex Ryan’s first year as head coach, back in 2009. Conversely, the Colts are coming off a very inspired, hard fought victory at home to the Green Bay Packers. Andrew Luck has looked quite sharp all year, relying heavily on veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne as his primary receiving option. However, Luck has yet to face a defense quite like Ryan’s unit, a task normally difficult to prepare for for any quarterback, especially a rookie, on the road. Look for the Jets to come out extremely aggressive, defensively, to try to hit and rattle the youngster early. Antonio Cromartie has been playing elite level football, and if he can continue his dominant play against Wayne, Indianapolis will need to rely heavily on Luck and their subpar running game.
Offensively, the Jets have looked anything but sharp since their week 1 blowout of the Buffalo Bills. However, since dominating Buffalo, New York has face 4 consecutive defenses ranked within the top 11 in run defense. Look for the ground game to finally get going this week, with Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell leading the way. Whether or not Greene deserves carries is certainly up for debate, but based on the vote of confidence he received from Rex Ryan this week, it looks like he will continue to get the majority of the load for Gang Green, at least for now.
Mark Sanchez also gets back two key players to his receiving corps in Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill. Keller’s presence alone should give Sanchez a nice feeling of security and confidence as he tries to lead this extremely young group of skill position players to victory. With key veterans like Santonio Holmes out, Sanchez needs to assume that leadership role and begin to make everyone around him better. Whether or not he has the ability to do that at this point still remains to be seen, but look for this offense to do enough to contribute to a double digit victory and get back to .500.
Mike Donnelly – I think the Jets whole season is coming down to this game against the Colts. If they lose this, we might as well start checking out the 2013 draft classes, because the Pats are going to steam roll our defense and then Miami is not going to be an easy game. There would be a pretty solid chance we’d be staring at 2-6 heading into the bye, and Rex Ryan knows it. That is why I fully expect this team to come out and play their best game since week 1 against Buffalo. The Colts are coming off a huge win at home against Green Bay and they are primed for a major letdown. They’re outside of their dome, playing in unfamiliar conditions, and as good as Andrew Luck is, he’s still a rookie, and Rex Ryan feasts as rookie quarterbacks. Look for the Jets defense to play very well, confuse Luck, and pull out the win 24-13. Oh, and since no Jets write up is complete without the obligatory Sanchez/Tebow mention, I think Sanchez is going to play very well and silence the critics for at least one week. Jets roll, and in my opinion, the 3 point spread is a gift. After all, Evan Silva has the Colts winning outright.. Just saying.
Chris Celletti – If you read my Best Bets piece, you know I think the Jets are going to win and cover the 3.5 pint spread. I think this is a good combination of the Jets being due to play a good overall, 60 minute football game and the Colts facing a little bit of a let down after an emotional upset win over the Packers last week. As I’ve previously stated, I think the Jets find some success on the ground against the Colts. I’m not saying Shonn Greene will end up with 100+ yards or anything, but I think the Jets as a team go for somewhere around 160 yards, with a good combination of Greene, Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight and Tim Tebow. Here are a few bold predictions, I think both Tebow and Antonio Cromartie score touchdowns – on offense. The Jets’ defense does enough to corral the Colts’ weak running game and confuse Andrew Luck into a few turnovers. As with any Jet game, it’ll be nervy in the fourth quarter, but a late Nick Folk field goal gets the Jets back to .500 with a 24-14 win.
Rob Celletti – Even though the Jets are on a two-game losing streak (which feels like four, considering the level of play the Jets displayed against Miami), it seems like things are starting to turn. The shock of losing Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes is starting to wear off. The defense showed some life in the second half on Monday vs. the Texans. And finally, the Jets face a defense that isn’t ranked in the top 10 in the NFL.
Yes, Andrew Luck is going to be a tough out, but the Colts are coming in off of a very, very emotional home win and are primed for a letdown. The Jets will be able to move the ball on the ground which should set up nicely for Mark Sanchez to finally get some opportunities on playaction. I think the offense will be able to produce 3 touchdowns, which should be enough. Jets 24, Colts 17