The Indianapolis Colts will be playing in their third primetime game of the season when the New York Jets come to Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday night.
After last Sunday’s overtime loss to Tennessee, the Colts will be looking to take care of business at home against an inferior Jets’ team, as they try to keep pace with the Titans in the AFC South.
Here are my bold predictions for Indy’s Week 8 matchup against the Jets.
- Carson Wentz throws for 300 or more yards and multiple touchdowns
Quarterback Carson Wentz struggled heavily when it mattered most last Sunday, including throwing two inexplicable interceptions which ultimately ended up costing the Colts the game.
The veteran will be looking to have a bounce back game against the Jets on Thursday night, and the Jets’ defense — which is average at best — could provide Wentz with the opportunity to keep the teams’ playoff hopes alive. New York’s pass defense is surrendering more than 275 passing yards per game, which is amongst the worst in the league.
Indy’s offense, which saw all five offensive line starters play for the first time last Sunday, will likely be fully in-tact for Thursday’s game, so that certainly bodes well for Wentz.
With the emergence of the Colts’ young players on offense, I’d look for Wentz to have a big night through the air.
- Michael Pittman Jr. will have 100 or more receiving yards and a touchdown
Pittman Jr.’s production over the course of this season speaks for itself. The second-year wideout had 10 catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee in Week 8. Pittman Jr. also has back-to-back games with at least one touchdown, and he’ll be looking to keep that streak going against an average Jets’ secondary.
The star receiver’s progression and playmaking throughout the last month or so has been very encouraging for the Colts, who had been hoping that Pittman Jr. would build off his performances from last season. Look for Pittman Jr. to have another big game as he continues to establish himself as the Colts’ wide receiver No. 1.
- The Colts’ defense will force multiple turnovers for a third straight game
I’m not going to take anything away from how Jets’ quarterback Mike White performed against a top-notch Bengals’ team last Sunday. But I also wouldn’t expect that sort of magical performance against the Colts’ defense on Thursday, either.
Currently, Indy’s defense is third in the NFL in turnovers forced this season, and has forced multiple turnovers in back-to-back games against the 49ers and Titans. We have seen improvements defensively over the last month or so, but the Colts’ pass rush will absolutely need to be far more consistent than they have been all season.
New York ranks 25th in sacks allowed and is surrendering nearly 3 per game, and Indy’s front four is going to have to take advantage of that weakness to help potentially force turnovers.
Even though the Colts’ secondary will be without two key starters in Julian Blackmon (season-ending injury) and Khari Willis (placed on IR Thursday), I still like the defense’s chances to make things challenging for White in only his full second start in the NFL.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Colts are 10-point favorites against the Jets this week.