National Football League
Jets-Colts Preview
National Football League

Jets-Colts Preview

Published Sep. 16, 2015 2:06 p.m. ET

The Indianapolis Colts came into the season as a favorite in the AFC, while the New York Jets faced plenty of uncertainty.

The teams flipped that script in Week 1, at least temporarily, with surprising results.

Indianapolis looks to bounce back from a disappointing showing Monday night against visiting New York, which seeks its first 2-0 start in four years.

With Andrew Luck coming off a career year after advancing a round further in the playoffs for a third consecutive season, the Colts have been among the trendiest picks to reach Super Bowl 50.


Sunday's 27-14 loss at Buffalo in which they were thoroughly outplayed knocked them down a peg.

Indianapolis committed three turnovers including two picks by Luck, who was 26 of 46 for 243 yards and two TDs - the first of which didn't come until the final minute of the third quarter.

"They beat us pretty bad," said Luck, who recorded a 63.6 passer rating after posting a 96.5 mark in 2014. "You don't let one game necessarily define you, but that doesn't make it any easier of a pill to swallow."

Luck's new target, Andre Johnson, was unimpressive in his first game as a Colt, securing only four of 10 targets for 24 yards and also dropping a two-point conversion. Fellow new acquisition Frank Gore underwhelmed with 31 yards on eight rushes before leaving in the second half.

The Colts are playing for a third straight AFC South title, but only 13.7 percent of the teams to lose their openers went on to win their division since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1978. Indianapolis, though, started 0-2 last year before winning 10 of the next 12.

The ugly performance didn't do much to silence the reports of turmoil within the organization. Speculation has run rampant that Chuck Pagano, in the final year of his contract, won't be back next year due to discord between he and general manager Ryan Grigson.

"That couldn't be farther from the truth," owner Jim Irsay said. "They have a great relationship. I've seen coaches and general managers work together since I was 11 years old. I know the dynamic that needs to be there for them to work together. They have a great relationship, and that report is completely false."

Indianapolis wasn't entirely without reason for optimism. An MRI revealed receiver T.Y. Hilton didn't suffer any structural damage to his left knee after an injury caused him to leave in the second half. He was listed as day to day Monday.

If Hilton is limited or sits out, it could mean a bigger role for Donte Moncrief, who caught six passes for 46 yards against Buffalo.

Gore, 13 scrimmage yards shy of 14,000 for his career, was also fine after dealing with cramps Sunday.

New York did its part in the AFC East's first perfect Week 1 since the 2002 realignment with a 31-10 victory over Cleveland, forcing five turnovers.

"It feels good to get the butterflies out of the way, to get that first one," said first-year coach Todd Bowles, who became the third straight Jets coach to win his debut. "It wasn't perfect, by no means, but we did what we had to do to win."

While Indianapolis struggled to get its ground game going with 64 yards, the Jets ran for 154, including 91 and two TDs by Chris Ivory. Ivory's 20 carries were more than he had in 15 of 16 games last year.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was more than serviceable in his first start since being acquired from Houston, going 15 of 24 for 179 yards and two TDs. He showed good chemistry with fellow newcomer Brandon Marshall, who had 62 receiving yards and a score on six receptions.

New York survived an injury scare of its own, with the MRI on cornerback Antonio Cromartie's left knee coming back negative. He left in the second quarter and needed to be helped to the sideline.

Cromartie has a sprained knee that caused him to miss practice Wednesday and Thursday, and he returned Friday but was limited. Bowles said he needs to see "a little more" from Cromartie before deciding whether he will be able to play.

The Jets have won the last two meetings with Indianapolis, the most recent a 35-9 home victory Oct. 14, 2012. New York picked Luck off twice and sacked him four times in his fifth career game.

Luck threw seven TDs and one interception in two Monday night games in 2014.

The Jets have lost four straight road openers.


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