Justin Houston vs. Mekhi Becton
Rookie tackle Mekhi Becton has been the only bright spot in what is a mediocre attempt at an offensive line. He uses his massive frame really well and is incredibly agile on his feet. Justin Houston’s experience might give him the upper hand on this one, and he has been playing some solid football so far this young season.
Grover Stewart vs. Josh Andrews
Grover Stewart is finally looking like he is ready to take the next step. He had shown flashes in the past, but he clearly is benefitting from playing alongside All-Pro DeForest Buckner on the defensive line and is now starting to put it all together. He will have a relatively easy matchup on Sunday, as the Jets’ starting center Connor McGovern will most likely miss the game, and former Colt Josh Andrews will line up in his place.
I remember Andrews had a solid game against the Dolphins last season in a Colts uniform after Ryan Kelly went down with an injury, so he is not terrible by any means. He just won’t have the same support, and he will be facing a much tougher opponent. If the Colts manage to completely shut down the running game like they did against the Vikings and put the ball in Darnold’s hands, then Gang Green will be in trouble.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Pierre Desir (Perhaps)
The Jets’ secondary is dealing with a lot of injuries, meaning Pierre Desir will most likely start at cornerback. Desir struggled last season with the Colts, and he has not been good so far with New York. Hilton will have an excellent chance to bounce back from his lackluster start to the season, my only concern is that Desir may know Hilton too well from facing him in practice during his Colts tenure. The Colts offense desperately needs Hilton to overcome his struggles and become the red-zone threat he was last season, in order to start scoring more touchdowns and less field goals.
Quenton Nelson vs. Quinnen Williams
Williams has been one of the few bright spots on the Jets’ defense. He had a career game against the 49ers, racking up two sacks. Williams will be facing the NFL’s best interior offensive line, but the most interesting matchup is versus Quenton Nelson. If the Colts plan on pounding the rock like they did versus the Vikings, then Nelson will have to make sure Williams’ impact on the game is limited. This matchup will most certainly generate some fireworks.
Colts vs. Playing Down to Their Competition
Simply put, this is a game the Colts have to win. Not only are the Jets a much less talented team, but they are dealing with an absurd amount of injuries, and Adam Gase is their head coach. There is no logical explanation as to why the Colts would lose this game, but stranger things have happened under Frank Reich.