TOJ’s Know Your Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

The god Mike White has breathed new life into the New York Jets. A Thursday night showdown with the Colts will show us if Mike White can do it again.

Coaching: I love Frank Reich, and I know DA agrees, as that’s who he wanted as Jets HC when they hired Todd Bowles. Reich has had 4 different starting QBs in his 4 seasons as Colts HC and he has been able to coach a productive offense out of all of them. Reich is one of the best play-callers in the game and has the often-maligned Carson Wentz producing at a high level. DC Matt Eberflus interviewed for the Jets HC job this past off-season, and his defenses are always well- disciplined and often succeed at limiting explosive plays.

Personnel: Carson Wentz was, maybe, the worst starting QB in the NFL last year, but under Frank Reich he’s been better then league average. He is still prone to idiotic turnovers but he is consistently making big plays to counterbalance them. Jonathan Taylor is a top 5 RB in the game and is just as dangerous as a receiver as he is running the ball. Michael Pittman is a bonafide X WR and should be a great test for rising star Bryce Hall. The Colts OL has not been as dominant as it has been in recent years but it is still a very solid unit that will be a great test for the Jets DL.

LB Darius Leonard and DT Deforest Buckener make up the spine of this defense and are two of the very best at their respective positions. The Colts have taken some hits in their secondary as they lost star safety Julian Blackmon for the year and both starting CB’s Kenny Moore and Xavier Rhodes have battled injuries this year.

Potential Weaknesses: Carson Wentz has never met a play he doesn’t think he can make, and this often leads to sacks and turnovers. The Jets defense got their first pick of the season last week and riding that momentum will do wonders for their offense if they can get multiple short fields to work with.

Matchup: The Colts defense versus the Jets offense is the main talking point of this game. The Colts play the most cowardly defense in the league. They rarely blitz and they love sitting in their cover 2 zones and keeping everything underneath and then swarming to the ball with their sound tackling and athletic LBs. The thing is that’s what Mike White and the Jets want to do. They want to feed their guys underneath and let them make the plays necessary to win after the catch. Mike White hasn’t proven he can consistently make throws deep down the field and it remains to be seen if the Colts will break from their mold and force him to do so. The Jets defense can handle the Colts offense I think they’ll let up 20ish points.

Prediction: Colts 24 Jets 21 I think, to start the game, the Colts will let Mike White attack underneath and the Jets will put up points and have a halftime lead. Then with adjustments in the second half, you’ll see the Jets offense fizzle as we realize why Mike White isn’t a franchise QB just yet and the Colts sneak up with a field goal win.