Wed, 21 Oct 2020

2020 Colts Preview: Colts/Jets, Week 3

Indianapolis Colts
26 Sep 2020, 17:39 GMT+10

After a dominating performance to earn their first win of the season against the Minnesota Vikings, the Indianapolis Colts (1-1) next play host to the New York Jets (0-2) Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Check out the official game preview. Andrew Walker

INDIANAPOLIS - It's time to get on a roll.

After a dominating performance to earn their first win of the season against the Minnesota Vikings, the Indianapolis Colts (1-1) next play host to the New York Jets (0-2) Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Kickoff is at 4:05 p.m. ET.

While the Colts' 2020 season-opening loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars was certainly disappointing, the team showed its resiliency last week against the Vikings. Indy was the aggressor on offense (utilizing a punishing rushing attack) and on defense (forcing three takeaways, all interceptions, as well as a safety), while the special teams unit had a flawless afternoon (6-for-6 in the kicking game for Rodrigo Blankenship, including 4-of-4 field goals).

The Jets, meanwhile, fell flat in their 31-13 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday at MetLife Stadium. New York had a particularly tough time stopping San Francisco's rushing attack, which logged 182 yards in all an averaged 6.3 yards per carry. The Jets were also limited to just 5-of-14 conversions on third down, and were unable to reach the end zone on two trips inside the red zone.

So what all should we be looking for when this thing kicks off? Here is the official game preview.

BROADCAST INFORMATION Sunday, Sept. 27, at 4:05 p.m. ET Indianapolis; Lucas Oil Stadium TV: CBS - Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Trent Green (color) and Melanie Collins (sideline) Colts Official App (*Geographic and device restrictions apply. Local & primetime games only. Data charges may apply.) Colts.com mobile website (Safari browser ONLY) Yahoo! Sports mobile browser or app Click here for MORE WAYS TO WATCH. To find out what games will be on in your area, click here. Local radio: Colts games can be heard in Indianapolis on 93.5, 107.5 and 1070 The Fan and 97.1 HANK FM, plus the desktop version of Colts.com with Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Rick Venturi (color), Larra Overton (sideline) and Bill Brooks (pregame/postgame analyst) on the call. National radio: Fans can listen to the live local call on Colts.com (desktop only) and NFL Game Pass. Get your free seven-day trial by clicking here.

*Please check your local TV listing to confirm availability. iOS mobile web and app users should "Allow Location Access" (via Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Safari).

ALL-TIME SERIES Colts lead, 42-32; the last Colts' home victory in the series was a 30-17 victory Jan. 24, 2010, in the AFC Championship Game. Last game - Week 6 of 2018; Jets won, 42-34, in East Rutherford, N.J. COACHING STAFF

Colts:

HC Frank Reich OC Nick Sirianni DC Matt Eberflus STC Bubba Ventrone

Jets:

HC Adam Gase OC Dowell Loggains DC Gregg Williams STC Brant Boyer LAST WEEK

Colts:

Won vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-2), 28-11

Jets:

Lost vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-1), 31-13 INJURY UPDATE

Colts:

OUT - LB Matthew Adams (ankle), CB Rock Ya-Sin (non-football illness) DOUBTFUL - N/A QUESTIONABLE - TE Jack Doyle (knee)

Click here to read more on the injury report for Sunday's game.

Jets:

OUT - WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring), DB Ashtyn Davis (groin), OL George Fant (concussion), WR Breshad Perriman (ankle); DB Quincy Wilson (concussion) DOUBTFUL - N/A QUESTIONABLE - WR Braxton Berrios (hamstring), DB Nate Hairston (hip), OL Connor McGovern (hamstring) STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH Blueprint for success? - Head coach Frank Reich said the Colts found their blueprint for winning football last Sunday in their Week 2 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. On offense, Indy utilized a run-heavy attack, led by the rookie Jonathan Taylor, who had 26 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown in his first-career start. On defense, the pressure was constant up front (three sacks, seven quarterback hits, safety forced), leading to much better play out of the secondary (three interceptions, nine passes defensed) compared to Week 1, when Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II completed 19-of-20 passes with three touchdowns. Then, on special teams, not only were the return and coverage units on point, but rookie Rodrigo Blankenship nailed all six of his kick attempts, including four field goals and both extra-point tries. The reality is not all three phases are going to be on point like this every single week, but there is great value in seeing what such a solid afternoon of work looks like. With a little bit better performance on third downs and in the red zone on offense, the Colts could win a ton of ballgames playing like they did against the Vikings. Colts as a big-time favorite - The Colts are heavily favored to beat the Jets on Sunday; in fact, as far as betting lines are concerned, Indy is the biggest favorite in the NFL this week. Part of that has to do with the way the Colts bounced back to dominate the Vikings last week, and part of it has to do with the Jets' struggles to do much of anything right to this point of the season. But one trend that's been apparent the last couple seasons in some instances is the Colts seemingly playing up and down to their competition; case in point, last year, they went on the road as a heavy underdog against the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and came out with the win, but then later in the year Indy was double-digit favorites at home against the Miami Dolphins, and ended up losing. It was the same theme two weeks ago in Jacksonville, where the Colts opened the season on the road as 7.5-point favorites against the Jaguars, but ended up with the loss. The Colts handled their business as three-point favorites against the Vikings last week, but must do a better job beating the teams they're supposed to beat (and handily) on Sunday, as Indy is considered, once again, a double-digit favorite in this one. Lots of Colts flavor throughout Jets' roster - There will be a ton of familiarity on both sides of the coin in Sunday's matchup, as the Jets feature a 53-man roster with several former Colts players, including: defensive end Henry Anderson, center/guard Josh Andrews, edge rusher Tarell Basham, cornerback Pierre Desir, safety Matthias Farley, running back Frank Gore, cornerback Nate Hairston, long snapper Thomas Hennessy and cornerback Quincy Wilson. The Jets also have former Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief and tight end Ross Travis on their practice squad. So what does this mean, exactly? Well, the Jets are going to have a little bit more intel than usual heading into this one; Andrews, Desir, Farley, Hairston and Wilson, especially, have recent experience playing for Reich and his staff. But that intel goes two ways: the Colts know these guys' strengths - and their weaknesses - very well. In the end, football is football, so it's all really a wash when the game kicks off, but it'll assuredly be a talking point for both sides heading into this one. WHAT THE JETS ARE SAYING Marcus Maye On Philip Rivers, Colts TEs 3 Matchups To Watch: Jets at Colts Dozen Jets Players Have Colts Connections Pierre Desir On Facing Former Team New York Jets Injury Report INTRIGUING MATCHUPS Colts LG Quenton Nelson vs. Jets DT Quinnen Williams - The Colts' 2018 first-round (sixth-overall) pick will be duking it out all afternoon against the Jets' 2019 first-round (third-overall) selection. Williams was never able to really get fully going his rookie season, as he played in 13 games with nine starts, and had 28 tackles (four for a loss) 2.5 sacks, six quarterback hits, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed. But the Alabama product is already off to a strong start in 2020, with 10 tackles (two for a loss) two sacks, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble in two games. This will really be the best example of strength-on-strength the entire afternoon. Colts TE Mo Alie-Cox vs. Jets S Marcus Maye - Maye is off to a tremendous start in 2020, as he leads the Jets' defense in tackles (17), tackles for loss (tied with 2), sacks (2.0) and passes defensed (3). Maye lines up everywhere for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams; through two games, he's logged 19 snaps lined up in the slot, 17 snaps in the box, 16 snaps up on the defensive line and eight snaps at free safety. He'll assuredly be tasked with helping stop Alie-Cox, who is coming off the best performance of his career against the Vikings, with five receptions for 111 yards for an average of 22.2 yards per catch. Reich and quarterback Philip Rivers get creative in the ways they get Alie-Cox open with room to run, but a savvy playmaker like Maye is going to try to do everything he can to prevent the big tight end from continuing his ascension in this one. Colts DT DeForest Buckner vs. Jets LG Alex Lewis - Lewis no doubt saw what Buckner did last week to Vikings guard Dru Samia, when the All-Pro defensive lineman fired off the line and decleated the 308-pound offensive lineman - with one arm - before laying a huge hit on quarterback Kirk Cousins, who was just barely able to get the ball out in time. Buckner has really been fantastic for the Colts the last six quarters, and there's no reason that can't continue Sunday against Lewis, who is actually very solid as a run blocker, but leaves much to be desired in pass protection. Colts LB Darius Leonard vs. Jets RB Frank Gore - The ageless wonder Frank Gore returns to Lucas Oil Stadium once again to take on his old team. The 37-year-old Gore, of course, played three seasons with the Colts from 2015 through 2017, compiling 784 rushing attempts for 2,953 yards with 13 touchdowns, while also hauling in 101 receptions for 789 yards and another six scores through the air, and has since played with the Miami Dolphins (2018), Buffalo Bills (2019) and now the Jets, where he has taken on a much bigger role since starter Le'Veon Bell was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury on Sept. 15. Gore - who has moved into third-place on the NFL's all-time rushing list (15,434 yards) - had 21 rushing attempts for 63 yards last Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers; Leonard is one of countless defenders who have developed the utmost respect for Gore throughout the years. "He's a tough runner," Leonard said of Gore on Thursday. "He doesn't quit, he's not an out-of-bounds guy, he's going to lower his shoulder - he reminds me a lot of Adrian Peterson and how they're 17 years into the league, that's when football was football where you're going to run between the tackles, man on man, is my man stronger than you, is my will better than yours? And he still has that mentality. I think that's what makes him who he is, because when he gets between those tackles he's going to lower his shoulder, he's going to try to run you over, and that's what type of mentality you need playing at running back and not a lot of this other stuff you see at running back." PROJECTED WEATHER (Retractable roof stadium) Partly cloudy, 20-percent chance of precipitation, temperature in the low-80sF, wind from the SW at 13 mph. REFEREE ASSIGNMENT Head referee: Craig Wrolstad (18 years). Click here to see all referee assignments for Week 3. BETTING LINE Favorite: Colts (-11.5) Over/Under: 44.5 REGULAR SEASON LEADERS

Colts:

Passing - QB Philip Rivers (577 yards) Rushing - RB Jonathan Taylor (123 yards) Receiving - TE Mo Alie-Cox (131 yards) Touchdowns - RB Nyheim Hines (2) Tackles - LB Darius Leonard (16) Sacks - DT/DE Denico Autry (2.0) Interceptions - CB T.J. Carrie, CB Kenny Moore II, S Khari Willis (1 each)

Jets:

Passing - QB Sam Darnold (394 yards) Rushing - RB Frank Gore (87 yards) Receiving - WR Jamison Crowder (115 yards) Touchdowns - RB Josh Adams, WR Braxton Berrios, WR Jamison Crowder (1 each) Tackles - S Marcus Maye (17) Sacks - S Marcus Maye and DT Quinnen Williams (2 each) Interceptions - CB Pierre Desir (1) COMPARING 2020 STATS

Colts:

Total offense - 11th (399.5 YPG) Scoring - 18th (24.0 PPG) Passing offense - 7th (280.0 YPG) Sacks allowed - Tied-7th (3) Rushing offense - 16th (119.5 YPG) Third down offense - 31st (30.43 percent) Red zone offense - 28th (44.44 percent) Total defense - 1st (208.0 YPG) Scoring defense - 8th (19.0 PPG) Passing defense - 1st (122.5 YPG) Sacks - Tied-3rd (7) Rushing defense - 5th (85.5 YPG) Third down defense - 6th (36.84 percent) Red zone defense - Tied-24th (75.00 percent) Time of possession - 2nd (35:54) Turnover differential - Tied-15th (0)

Jets:

Total offense - 32nd (265.5 YPG) Scoring - 31st (15.0 PPG) Passing offense - 30th (187.5 YPG) Sacks allowed - Tied-13th (4) Rushing offense - 31st (78.0 YPG) Third down offense - 28th (36.00 percent) Red zone offense - 32nd (25.00 percent) Total defense - 19th (381.5 YPG) Scoring defense - 24th (29.0 PPG) Passing defense - Tied-15th (241.5 YPG) Sacks - Tied-5th (6) Rushing defense - 25th (140.0 YPG) Third down defense - 28th (51.85 percent) Red zone defense - 12th (54.55 percent) Time of possession - 31st (23:15) Turnover differential - Tied-9th (+1) NOTES AND QUOTES With one touchdown, tight end Jack Doyle will pass Ken Dilger (18) and tie Tom Mitchell (19) and Dwayne Allen (19) for the fourth-most total touchdowns by a tight end in team history. With one game started, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton will reach 100 career games started. With one receiving touchdown, Hilton will tie Dallas Clark (46) for the sixth-most receiving touchdowns in team history. With one game with 10+ receptions, Hilton will pass Don McCauley, Lydell Mitchell, Joe Washington, Anthony Johnson and Dallas Clark, all with three, for the third-most games with 10+ receptions in team history. With 11 receptions, running back Nyheim Hines will tie Joe Washington (127) for the third-most receptions by a Colts running back in their first three seasons in the NFL. He would also tie Washington for the 10th-most receptions by a Colts player in their first three seasons. With one pass defensed, cornerback Xavier Rhodes will reach 75 career passes defensed. With one game with 400+ passing yards, quarterback Philip Rivers will tie Ben Roethlisberger (12) for the fourth-most games with 400+ passing yards in NFL history If he starts and wins one game, Rivers will pass Fran Tarkenton (124) for the eighth-most wins as a starting quarterback in NFL history. With one game started, Rivers will pass Terrell Suggs (226) for the 11th-most games started in NFL history. With five passes completed, Rivers will pass Dan Marino (4,967) for the fifth-most passes completed in NFL history. With 152 passing yards, Rivers will reach 60,000 career passing yards. He would become just the sixth player in NFL history to reach that plateau, joining Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino. With one touchdown pass, Rivers will reach 400 career touchdown passes. He would become just the sixth player in NFL history to reach that plateau, joining Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino. "It's really the effort in terms in having quickness, instincts and striking ability - is really what you're doing with your eyes a lot of times, how you're setting up, how you're breaking. It comes down to the attention to detail within the defense. When you see that - as you've seen in the past when we play that style - you see a good result." - Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, on how his unit was able to improve drastically from Week 1 to Week 2. "We all had a ton of confidence in Mo, but sometimes it is - you go out there and see him play that way and it's just the confidence level, it grows. I think that's definitely what we saw. I had the utmost confidence in Mo Alie-Cox. On Sunday before the game I would have said, 'I don't know if it can be any higher.' Well you go out and do something like he just did and your confidence even gets higher in a player and I know that player's confidence gets higher as well." - Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, on tight end Mo Alie-Cox's career-best performance last week vs. the Vikings. "He's definitely unique. I would say he's probably the most unique guy that I've coached to this point. I've only been coaching for six years, but even as a player he's probably the most unique player that I've been around." - Colts special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone, on what stands out about rookie kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. "Absolutely, because my dad was actually a running back. So when he talks about guys like Keyshawn Johnson, he talks very highly of him because he was a great blocking receiver. The way that he talks about him, I want Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim (Hines), Marlon (Mack) to say those same things about me." - Colts rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., on the pride he takes in being an effective run blocker. "She just always keeps it 100 with me. She always shoots it straight with me - and lets me know what's up. She's my rock, she's my heart and she called me and told me that the person that she is seeing on TV wasn't her grandbaby. That wasn't me. It hurt me for her to tell me that. But she's always kept it real and she said, 'You look frustrated.' That's not the way I play this game. I'm always happy, always excited. I'm back to being me. I'm good." - Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, on receiving a call from his grandmother Monday after some up-and-down moments for him the first two weeks of the season. "I enjoy watching him pancake everybody in front of him and then I enjoy going against him in practice because as you see in a game, he's a monster. In practice, I have to know that if I'm going against him I have to use my hands, I have to have great feet to get off the block. I'm definitely enjoying that and I'm definitely honored, blessed, all of the above to not have to go against him on Sundays." - Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, on what he likes best about being teammates with All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson. CATCH BEFORE THE GAME Rock Ya-Sin, Matthew Adams Ruled Out Sunday Against The Jets; Jack Doyle Questionable Colts Thursday Notebook: Jack Doyle Returns To Practice; T.Y. Hilton's Grandma With Words Of Encouragement 2020 Colts Rookie Watch: Week 3 Colts Wednesday Notebook: Jack Doyle, Rock Ya-Sin Sit Out First Jets Practice; Matthew Adams Out 'A Couple Weeks' Colts Chatter: Michael Pittman Jr. On Early Learning Curve, Being A Reliable Blocker Bubba Ventrone: Rodrigo Blankenship 'Probably The Most Unique Guy That I've Coached' Nick Sirianni On Replacing Parris Campbell, Confidence In Mo Alie-Cox, More Touches For Nyheim Hines Matt Eberflus On Week 2 Defensive Improvements, Julian Blackmon's Debut, Sudden Change At Cornerback How to Watch Jets @ Colts Colts Release Week 3 Unofficial Depth Chart For Jets Matchup Vote For Colts' Jonathan Taylor For NFL Rookie Of The Week Award After Strong Debut, Julian Blackmon Facing Larger Role At Safety Injury Updates: Parris Campbell To Miss Time, Malik Hooker Out For Season, Rock Ya-Sin's Immediate Status Unknown Five Things Learned: Colts-Vikings (2020, Week 2)

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