NFL Preview: New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts: New York to cause upset

On Thursday the New York Jets take on the Indianapolis Colts. Planet Sport previews the action between two sides who have been inconsistent through the first half of the season.

This weeks edition of Thursday Night Football has the potential to be a classic. The New York Jets (2-5) and the Indianapolis Colts (3-5) have both been inconsistent but on their day both teams have the potential to be lights out on both offense and defense.

The Jets come into the matchup after a historic win over the number one seeded Cincinnati Bengals. Backup quarterback Mike White became the second quarterback since 1950 to throw for 400+ yards in his first NFL start, joining Cam Newton who did so in 2011. That was the Jets second win of the season and boy was it a statement win.

The Colts have one of the best running backs in the league in Jonathan Taylor who is a nice compliment to quarterback Carson Wentz. Last time out the Colts lost in overtime to the Tennesse Titans. It was a game they should have would and probably would have if it wasn't for some costly interceptions by Wentz.

Planet Sport takes an in-depth look at the fixture, and Planet Sport Bet's NFL acca means customers get their money back as a free bet if one leg lets you down.

Best bets New York Jets vs Indianapolis Colts

New York Jets to win 4/1

Total points over 48.5 6/5

Indianapolis Colts over 30.5 points 6/5

When: November 5 2021 - 12.20am (BST)

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

How to watch: NFL Game Pass/Sky Sports NFL

Background information: New York Jets vs Indianapolis Colts


The New York Jets have been one of the most surprising teams in the NFL this season. Their two wins this season have come against teams with winning records (Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals) but have lost five times including a pummeling from the New England Patriots. In the games, they have won the Jets have looked very good with solid performances from rookie quarterback Zach Wilson against the Titans and backup Mike White against the Bengals.

You never are sure which Jets team will show up but head coach Robert Salah in his first year as a head coach has made their defense one of the most formidable in the league. Upfront they are led by Quinnen Williams who is a force to be reckoned with, causing opposing quarterbacks to be in all kinds of trouble. Against Cincinnati, defensive end Shaq Lawson had a game-changing interception and there are game-changers all over the field and the defense will be crucial if the Jets are to win back to back games.

In the 2021 offseason, the Indianapolis Colts traded for Carson Wentz to be their starting quarterback. Things haven't gone as well as they would have hoped. Before the season started they were considered to be one of the favourites to win the AFC South because of their skill players on offense and their defense that features some of the most underrated players in the league.

The team is 3-5 on the season which is a fair representation of the team. Last time out they lost in overtime to the Tennessee Titans and their defense stopped the NFL's leading rusher in Derrick Henry but they still lost. The team has struggled with injuries and will be without their number one wide receiver in TY Hilton who is out with a concussion. In Michael Pittman Jr. they have a very good replacement for Hilton who comes into this week after 86-yards and two touchdowns in the loss to The Titans.

On paper, the Colts have the firepower and the weapons to easily take care of the Jets and get back to winning ways. However, the Jets have relished being an underdog so the Colts will have to play a complete game to come out victorious.

Quarterback matchup: Mike White vs Carson Wentz

Thursday will be the first NFL matchup between Mike White and Carson Wentz

After his performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, Mike White was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. He became the first Jets quarterback since Vinny Testaverde (December 24, 2000) to throw for over 400 yards and earned the start on Thursday night. White was drafted in 2018 by the Dallas Cowboys before making his way to the Jets practice squad. After an injury to rookie quarterback Zach Wilson against the New England Patriots, White took his place and has not looked back.

Against the Bengals, he overcame some early interceptions to produce one of the performances of his career. He lead the Jets on a touchdown drive in the first quarter for the first time this season. Towards the end of the game, the fans were chanting his name having watched one of the best performances by a Jets quarterback in a very long time. The cherry on the top for White was catching a two-point conversion that sealed the Jets win. Can he do it all again on Thursday night? Yes, he can.

Carson Wentz is way past his first NFL start having been drafted second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He began his NFL career as a Philadelphia Eagle and was on his way to a league MVP in 2017 before a leg injury ended his season. That same year the Eagles won their first Super Bowl, defeating the Patriots 41-33. Wentz struggled to get back to his form from the 2017 season and was traded to the Colts after the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts.

In his time as a Colt, he has developed a good relationship with wide receiver Michael Pittman and running back Jonathan Taylor. Both of them have helped to make his transition to a new offense a lot easier. There have been flashes of the 2017 season as he is back with Frank Reich who was his offensive coordinator in Philadelphia. Reich's relationship with Wentz was one of the reasons the Colts traded for Wentz which you would have to stay was a smart decision from Indianapolis.

Key men

Michael Carter - New York Jets

Carter was drafted by New York in the 2021 NFL Draft

The Jets drafted Carter to be their number one running-back after he dominated at the University of Carolina. Carter's 3,403 total rushing yards over his collegiate career are fourth-best all-time for the school. Carter can be a factor in both the run game and the passing game.

Against Cincinnati, Carter 77 rushing yards, one touchdown as well as 95 receiving yards - both of which were season highs. Mike White took full advantage of Carter's physical ability and the evidence suggests that Thursday night his productivity will only increase.

Quinnen Williams - New York Jets

Quinnen Williams is in his third season in the NFL and has been compared to Aaron Donald due to his strength and his speed. He has caused offensive struggles and Thursday night will be no different. So far, he has 4.5 sacks on the season which leads the team.

Earlier in the season in the Jets first win of the season against Tennesee, Quinnen and his brother Quincy made history as they became the first pair of brothers with sacks in the same game for the same team.

Jonathan Taylor - Indianapolis Colts

Taylor (28) is the second leading rusher in the NFL
Taylor (28) is the second leading rusher in the NFL

Jonathan Taylor is in the conversation for the best running back in the NFL. With Derrick Henry suffering a foot injury, Taylor has the most rushing yards by anyone in the NFL on an active roster with 649-yards.

He is an every-down back with the ability to run through teams and to be a key factor of the passing game on check-downs or bigger passing plays. He also holds the franchise record with 253-yards after he broke the Hall of Famer Edgerrin James' record in a win over Jacksonville last season.

Darius Leonard - Indianapolis Colts

Even an injured ankle is not slowing down Darius Leonard. The Colts linebacker is making a serious case of being Defensive Player of the Year. Leonard has eight takeaways on the season, he has three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He has half of the 16 turnovers the Colts have on the season which is tied for the league lead.

Leonard is one of the most talented players in the NFL and if he is on his day against New York he could make it a very long night for Mike White and the Jets offense.

Previous matchups

The two teams have met each other 75 times with the Jets winning 32 games and the Colts winning 43 games.
The two teams have met each other 75 times with the Jets winning 32 games and the Colts winning 43 games.

October 27, 2020: New York Jets 7 Indianapolis Colts 36

It was a day to forget for the New York Jets back in 2020. Quarterback Sam Darnold went 17/29 for 168-yards, one touchdown and three interceptions as the Indianapolis Colts stormed to victory. It was the first time since October 1970 the Colts returned two INTs for scores in a game, which also happened against the Jets.

It was a historic day for Colts quarterback Phillip Rivers as he threw his 400th touchdown pass. The Colts (2-1) came in with the league's top-rated defense and could stay there after picking off three more passes, giving up just 260 yards and seven points. The loss saw the Jets move to 0-3 and continue their glum start to the season.

October 14, 2018: Indianapolis Colts 34 New York Jets 42

The New York Jets celebrated the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl win over the Baltimore Colts and what a game it was. Jets kicker Jason Meyers kicked a franchise-record seven field goals as the Jets came out victorious. The Jets recorded three interceptions on Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck and helped move the team to .500.

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was 24 of 30 for 280 yards, with touchdown throws to Terrelle Pryor and Chris Herndon and an interception to give New York its first back-to-back victories since taking three in a row in Weeks 3-5 of the 2017 season.

December 5, 2016: Indianapolis Colts 41 New York Jets 10

Andrew Luck had a day back in 2016 as the Indianapolis Colts romped to victory over the New York Jets. The Colts quarterback went 22 from 28 as he had 278-yards and four touchdowns. In Lucks first game after a concussion, he helped the Colts move back to .500.

The Jets were inept and couldn't produce any consistent performances on offense. The Jets quarterback Bryce Petty went 11 for 25 and 135 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

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