The New York Jets are preparing to take on the Indianapolis Colts this week in Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, and they know that they face a tough challenge in facing the Colts' offense. The unit is filled with potential playmakers: T.Y. Hilton (if he plays), Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and Frank Gore. But the player who ties the whole unit together is their best player, quarterback Andrew Luck. And the Jets know that facing Luck provides a huge challenge.
"It's a nightmare," Jets head coach Todd Bowles said Friday, according to Newsday's Neil Best. "He can beat you with his arm, he can beat you with his feet, he can beat you with his brain. We just have to play sound, fundamental football and try to slow him down a little bit."
Other Jets are also realizing the challenge that facing Andrew Luck provides to a defense. "You're talking about, in our opinion, a top-five quarterback in the NFL and he poses a lot of problems," defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said. "He can get out of trouble, he's strong and when you get there, he's hard to tackle."
Linebacker Calvin Pace agreed that it's not easy to play Luck. "He's fearless, and faster than you think, strong, and about the only quarterback who'll throw an interception and go out of his way to make a tackle. I have a lot of respect for him, man, he can play. He's in that elite conversation when you talk about quarterbacks."
Luck got off to a slow start this year, as he completed 26 of 49 passes for 243 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks last week against the Bills, but he will be fine moving forward. He led the NFL in touchdown passes last year and broke Peyton Manning's franchise record for single-season passing yards, and in 2015 he's expected to be even better with an improved supporting cast around him. Week one was a rough one for Luck, but the Jets aren't letting that fool them: Andrew Luck is still very good and very hard to play against.
If the Colts are going to win on Monday, it will likely have to be because of Andrew Luck, as the Colts could be without a couple of cornerbacks on the defensive side of the football and possibly be without T.Y. Hilton on the offensive side. On the flip side, we saw last week that if Luck struggles, the entire team will look bad. The Jets are hoping that they can throw Luck off in a similar fashion as the Bills did last week, but they know very clearly that it's much easier said than done when facing a great quarterback like Andrew Luck.