For what it's worth:

Why To Watch
The surprising Jets have two wins on the road and put a scare into the Patriots in Week 2. The Colts are undefeated and coming off a tough divisional win over the Jaguars. Jets head coach Eric Mangini and his staff have done a nice job of game-planning early in the season. Last week against in Buffalo, the Jets' no-huddle offense was key to their victory. This looks like a statistical mismatch on paper, but as we've seen early this season, anything can happen, especially on the road.

When the Colts have the ball

Rushing: Indianapolis averages only 81 rushing yards per game with a 3.1-yard per carry average. Look for the Colts to establish their marginal ground attack vs. a defense that was gashed by the Bills in Week 3. (Bills RB McGahee had 150 yards and averaged 5.8 yards per carry against the Jets.) Colts first-round pick Joseph Addai will likely get more touches this week as he has averaged 4.7 yards per carry thus far.

The Colts' offensive line will have less of a challenge this week than they had last week against a big and physical Jacksonville defensive line. Look for Mangini and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton to mix some run blitzes in with their base defenses to help make Indy's always-tough air attack one-dimensional.

Passing: The Colts are the No. 1 passing team in the NFL, averaging 290 yards per game. Quarterback Peyton Manning will spread the ball around, but his main targets are wide receivers Marvin Harrison (22 catches, 15.2 average) and Reggie Wayne (14 grabs, 20.3 yard average). Manning had a sub-par game vs. the Jaguars but had been passing at a high level of proficiency (65%) prior to Week 3. The Colts' offensive line has done a nice job of protecting Manning, giving up five sacks through the first three games. Manning is tough to sack due to his great instincts in the pocket and understanding of where his outlet receivers are on the field. This offensive passing machine poses big problems for the Jets' very average pass defense (253 yards allowed per game).

New York's defense has generated only six sacks but has five interceptions. Look for the Jets to try and limit the big play in the passing game and try and pressure Manning into making some mistakes. The Jets will look at how the Steelers sacked Manning five times and yielded only one touchdown pass in last season's playoffs.

When the Jets have the ball

Rushing: The Jets' running game is averaging only 72 yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry. RBs Kevan Barlow and Derrick Blaylock have not had many creases to run through. However, New York's offensive line may have an easier time getting movement on the Indianapolis defensive front in the running game. The Colts gave up 186 yards at a 6.9-yard average vs. the Giants (Week 1) and 177 yards at a 5.2-yard average vs. the Jaguars. Indy will try to make the Jets one-dimensional, but QB Chad Pennington has been excellent through three games.

Passing: The Jets' passing game has been impressive, ranking second in the AFC with 257 yards per game. Pennington has spread the ball around well with good accuracy (66%) and only one interception next to five TD passes. The Jets' top three receivers have made some impressive grabs to move the chains and score touchdowns. Laveranues Coles leads the Jets with 24 catches at a 13.8-yard average.

Look for the Jets to get the ball to utility back Leon Washington as he has flashed some explosiveness. The taller Jets receivers may give the smallish Indy corners some problems. Expect the Jets to put the ball up early and often if they can't improve their ground game.


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Take 2: Colts too much for surprising Jets


Peyton Manning has carried the Colts offense, marking up 290 yards per game with five touchdowns and only one interception. Manning had a subpar game vs. the tough Jacksonville defense (only one TD pass, 45% on completions) in Week 3, but he made several timely throws to move the chains and put the ball in the end zone. The Jets will need to get some pressure on Manning to be successful this weekend.

QB Chad Pennington has been a bright spot for the Jets. A big question mark in August, Pennington has performed better than anyone could have expected early in the season. Pennington is second to Manning in the AFC with 269 yards per game. The surprising 2-1 start of the Jets has clearly been shouldered by Pennington. Look for a big air attack if early efforts to establish a ground attack fail.

The running game for both teams has been a concern. The loss of Edgerrin James has hindered the ground attack for the Colts early in the season. Look for the Colts to get rookie first-round pick Joseph Addai the ball more in this matchup as he has averaged 4.7 yards per carry. The Colts realize that being a one-dimensional offense will catch up with them. Indy may try to force the ground game a bit more to expand its offensive production.

The ground attack for the Jets has been dismal to say the least. The absence of Curtis Martin has been glaring as New York has averaged only 72 yards per game with a 2.6 yard average. Look for the Jets to improve those numbers vs. a Colts run defense that has been gashed by the Giants and Jaguars.

The Colts' receiving tandem of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne is as dangerous as ever, but neither player has been in the end zone yet this season. Look for Manning to get the ball to both playmakers early and often. The Indy offensive passing scheme is so successful due to how well the ball is distributed to several options, but keeping Harrison and Wayne from scoring will be a tough task for the Jets. New York has sacked opponents only six times in three games and will need to put pressure on Manning to hold down the score.

The Jets have a solid receiving corps of their own. Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery have been impressive early this season. Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has utilized tight end Chris Baker in the red zone for two touchdowns and may try to get the ball more to third-down back Leon Washington, who showed some explosiveness vs. the Bills in Week 3.

The Jets' offensive line may be able to make some creases for backs Kevan Barlow and Cedric Houston vs. the smaller defensive line of the Colts. If veteran guard Pete Kendall can get healthy for Sunday and the offensive line can continue to develop, look for the Jets to have some success moving the chains on the ground. Indy defensive coordinator Ron Meeks may try to give his defensive front some help with a mix of run blitzes.

Look for the Colts' offensive line to have more success vs. New York's defensive line than it had against the imposing Jacksonville line. The Jets' defense has given up an average of 134 yards per game on the ground. If Indy can be a two-dimensional offense it will make it tough on New York and future opponents.

Special Teams
The kicking game may be key in this clash. Jets punter Ben Graham has a strong leg but has been a bit inconsistent (38.2 net average). New York field goal kicker Mike Nugent has also been inconsistent (50% on field goal attempts and a missed extra point). The Jets' return specialist have not done much thus far, but Leon Washington can make a big play.

The kicking game for the Colts appears to be very solid. Place-kicker Adam Vinatieri has been a perfect 7-for-7 on field goal attempts. Punter Hunter Smith has a strong leg but needs more hang time with only a 36-yard net average. Indy return specialist Terrence Wilkins is explosive and can take it to the house at any time.

Matchups
Jets LOT D'Brickashaw Ferguson vs. Colts DE Dwight Freeney
Indy DT Raheem Brock vs. Jets rookie C Nick Mangold
Colts WR Reggie Wayne vs. Jets DC Andre Dyson
Jets LB Victor Hobson vs. Colts TE Dallas Clark
Jets WR Laveranues Coles vs. Indy DC Jason David

Scouts' Edge
The Jets and Colts have been similar teams early in the season. The lack of a ground attack is a concern for both offenses. Stopping the run is a concern for both defenses. Look for both teams to lean on their running backs and control the clock. Jets coach Eric Mangini and his staff have been impressive early in the season, but look for the Colts to come into New York and win handily.

Prediction: Colts 27, Jets 17