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Beware the Jets

It was ugly the last time the Colts
faced the Jets in the swamp
Photo: NFL.com
It is very easy to overlook the Jets, but to do so would be a BIG mistake. If I recall, the last time the Colts went into the Meadowlands to face the NY Jets, they left with a 41-0 playoff loss and a lot of questions heading into the 2003 off-season. Since that game, both these fracnhises have gone in completely opposite directions. The Colts have averaged 13 wins a season since, while the Jets have missed the playoffs 3 of the last four years.

This Jets team looks very improved though. They are rough around the edges (they let Buffalo march up and down the field on them last Sunday) but they are certainly better. Chad Pennington looks recovered from two shoulder surgeries. He doesn't have a strong arm, but he delivers the football with accuracy, usually to his favorite target: WR Laveranues Coles. Coles was just awarded AFC Offensive Player of the Month. The Jets offense uses a lot of motion, and they have 3 or 4 running backs sharing the workload. On defense, head coach Eric Mangini is installing a hybrid-Belichick defense in a 3-4 scheme.

This is a tough match-up on the road for the Colts. The Jets are a scrappy team that finds ways to win. Last week, Buffalo QB J.P. Losman threw for over 300 yards and RB Willis McGahee ran for over 100, but Buffalo still lost to the Jets. The reason: turnovers. The Jets find ways to get them. The Colts have to be extra careful with the football. The Jets are ranked 9th in the Stampede Blue power poll for a reason: they get it done.

The good news is Reggie Wayne will likely play Sunday. He returned to practice the other day. Wayne's brother was killed this past Sunday in a traffic accident.

We at Stampede Blue extend our sympathies to Reggie and his family.