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In Week 8, the shaky New York Jets beat the solid Cincinnati Bengals, with Jets having to play without starting quarterback Zach Wilson (PCL) and with backup Mike White under center, a secret weapon who posted 400+ passing yards and three touchdowns with two picks for the 34-31 win, so now it becomes a question of whether he can do that again against these Colts.
The Indianapolis Colts were on their way to a Week 8 victory over the underdog Titans, but Carson Wentz threw two critical picks and they lost the game, 31-34, but the good news is that Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (below) is stepping up now and averaging 5.4 yards per carry for a 3-5 Indy team that needs a win here to stay relevant in the relatively weak AFC South.
These two AFC rivals have played each other 75 other times (including 4 postseason games), with the Indianapolis Colts winning 43 of those games and the New York Jets winning 32 of the games.
It was a sight for sore eyes if you’re Jets fan, with unknown backup quarterback Mike White filling in for the injured starter, Zach Wilson (knee-PCL), and earning the team’s second win of the season, a sign of life against a solid Bengals defense that seemed to be missing in the previous seven Jets games.
The question is whether White can do it again, that is repeat his productive afternoon where he completed 37 passes off 45 targets for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns with 2 interceptions while giving his team a sense of leadership under center that had been previously missing.
White entered the league back in 2018 when the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, but since then he’s been fighting to stay roster worthy, including spending time on the Jets’ practice squad, that is until the team needed him to fill in for Wilson starting in Week 7, and now he must prove that he can play well enough to stay in that role.
The main gripe about Colts quarterback Carson Wentz is that he tries to lift the teams he plays for on his shoulders and make big plays to earn the wins, but that typically backfires on him and causes him to throw balls to the other team.
Last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, Wentz led the league in interceptions with 15, and this year it had looked like he had fixed that until last week when he threw his second and third picks of the season, a scary sign that he could be slipping back into older habits.
Indy Head coach Frank Reich and Wentz have worked together before in Philly, so the two need to get on the same offensive page as they have in the past, but that gets tougher given all the injuries to Colts receivers, especially to T.Y. Hilton (concussion) and Parris Campbell (foot).
For Jets backup quarterback Mike White to continue his successful 1-0 run as the starter, he will need to count on playmaking receiver Corey Davis to help him with catches, the former Titans star now with the Jets and looking like the team’s best receiver.
So far in 2021, Davis has caught 24 passes for 349 yards and 4 touchdowns, production that puts him in the middle of the road as far as NFL receivers go, but he and White need to form a solid connection moving forward so that they can help turn the 2-5 Jets’ season around.
The 6’ 3” 209-pound Davis has never had a 1,000+ receiving yards season in his four prior NFL years with the Tennessee Titans, so now would be the time for him to post those types of numbers for his new team, the Jets, to start offensively making some noise.
For the Colts to start winning they could use a solid run game that quarterback Carson Wentz might use to his advantage with some play-action fakes in the second half of games, and that is where running back Jonathan Taylor can begin to make a difference for his team.
Taylor stands at 5’ 10” and weighs 226 pounds, a second-round draft pick who posted almost 1,200 yards his rookie season, and now he is well on his way to a repeat of that production so far with 121 carries for almost 650 yards and 6 touchdowns plus 21 catches for another 265 yards and a rushing TD.
This season Taylor has had three 100+ rushing yard games and those were all wins for the Colts, their only three wins this season, so the key to victory on Thursday looks to be to feed Taylor the ball and count on him to grind out some yardage.
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|Jets vs Colts Information|
|Teams||New York Jets vs Indianapolis Colts|
|Location||Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN|
|Time||Thursday, November 4, 2021; 8:20 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX / NFL Network|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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