The New York Jets will be hosting the Indianapolis Colts, finishing up a 3 game home stand that fielded losses to the 49ers and Texans.
The Colts, 2 – 2, upset the Packers last week with a come from behind win due in large part to rookie QB Andrew Luck. Luck had passed for 1208 yards through 4 games, and has been impressive commanding a mediocre Colts offense.
Chuck Pagano, 1st year Colts head coach and former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator was diagnosed with leukemia last week and is out indefinitely. Pagano’s Colts have rallied of late, and look to make it two wins in a row without their coach.
The beat-down Jets have a few reasons to be optimistic this week, due in large part to the return of Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill. Both should give the passing game a much-needed boost. In 2011, Keller was the Jets leading receiver with 65 receptions, 815 yards and 5 touchdowns. Without Keller, Jeff Cumberland has been receiving the majority or reps and produced meager numbers, 13 receptions, 139 yards, 1 touchdown. Sanchez needs a target over the middle to keep drives alive.
Defensively, the Colts are 13th against the pass and 26th against the run. For once, the Jets ground and pound has a chance to re-establish themselves. After playing the Steelers, Dolphins, 49ers and Texans, the Jets can really use a game against a poor run defense. Against the run, the Dolphins are 1st, Steelers 11th, 49ers 7th and the Texans 9th, respectively. Expect a heavier dose of Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell in this matchup.
Injuries have been crippling to the Jets in 2012, and today is no different. Nose tackle Sione Pouha is out, along with his replacement Kenrick Ellis. The run defense has not been the same since Pouha injured his back at the end of the preseason. Safety Eric Smith will also be out, with a knee injure sutained at practice this week.
The Colts will be without their top pass rusher, Robert Mathis, who has a knee injury.
Until Tim Tebow scores or produces more positive plays, he will be excluded from my pregame articles.
Eric Gonzalez is a regular contributor to The Green Room. You can follow him on Twitter @EricG_89 .