INDIANAPOLIS — The New York Jets at times were a pleasant surprise in 2017, going 5-11 and displaying a very effective offense despite many thinking they could be in the worst shape in the league.
The Indianapolis Colts hope to be another pleasant surprise in 2018. They have many of the ingredients for a quick turnaround following a 4-12 season, but many pundits file them near the bottom of the league in their offseason rankings.
- Sunday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m. ET
- East Rutherford, N.J. (MetLife Stadium)
- TV — CBS
- Colts lead, 41-28 (1-3 in the playoffs).
- Last game — Week 13 of 2016. Colts won, 41-10. Previously, Jets had won four of the last five, dating back to 2009.
- HC Frank Reich
- OC Nick Sirianni
- DC Matt Eberflus
- STC Bubba Ventrone
- HC Todd Bowles
- OC Jeremy Bates
- DC Kacy Rodgers
- STC Brant Boyer
KEY NEW FACES
- OG Quenton Nelson
- TE Eric Ebron
- WR Ryan Grant
- RB Nyheim Hines
- DT/DE Denico Autry
- QB Teddy Bridgewater/Sam Darnold
- RB Isaiah Crowell
- WR Terrelle Pryor
- ILB Avery Williamson
- CB Trumaine Johnson
OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
- The Colts got an almost entirely new coaching staff this offseason, and general manager Chris Ballard went into his second offseason of flipping the roster.
- With the coaching change came a switch to a 4-3, Tampa-2 style defense from the hybrid 3-4 defense.
- From 2017 to 2018, there could be as many as a dozen or more new starters.
- One of those new starters will be at running back. Frank Gore is now on the Miami Dolphins, so a new face will be stepping into the starting tailback spot.
- Running back Matt Forte, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson — all former starters — are no longer with the team.
- The Jets fired former offensive coordinator John Morton and replaced him with the team's former quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates.
- The team made several proven veteran additions, including running backs Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls, interior offensive linemen Spencer Long and Travis Swanson, defensive linemen Henry Anderson and Courtney Upshaw, linebackers Avery Williamson and Kevin Minter, cornerback Trumaine Johnson, safety J.J. Wilcox and kicker Cairo Santos.
- Who Is New York's Starting QB? — Josh McCown was a stud for the Jets last year, but they also brought in former Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and spent the No. 3 overall pick on Sam Darnold. It's anyone's guess which of the three will be starting by Week 6.
- Luck And His RBs and TEs Could Go Wild — The Colts' receivers will be well occupied by the Jets' solid secondary, so they may need to take advantage of the quick, short passing game featuring their running backs and tight ends. If those are matchups that the Colts are successfully exploiting early in the game, it could be something they continue to hammer throughout.
- A Test For Colts' Young Secondary — The Jets have a diverse group of receivers with Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor, Jermaine Kearse and Quincy Enunwa. Since they have several quality players in the group, it's a good test for the Colts' young secondary.
- Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Jets CB Trumaine Johnson — The Colts' passing game struggled last year when they faced Johnson and his Los Angeles Rams. Hilton and Johnson were often matched up in that game and could be again this year.
- Colts TE Eric Ebron vs. Jets S Jamal Adams — This is a compelling matchup that makes sense for us to see, as Adams is a likely future Pro-Bowler, and the Colts will likely have Ebron lined up outside or in the slot where the two may meet. Both were drafted in the top 10 for matchups such as this.
- Colts OG Quenton Nelson vs. Jets DE Leonard Williams — Williams has the potential to play at an elite level from the interior of the defensive line. It will take a group effort to keep him at bay, and perhaps some one-on-one matchups between him and Nelson.
- Passing — QB Jacoby Brissett (3,098 yards)
- Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (358 yards)
- Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (966 yards)
- Touchdowns — QB Jacoby Brissett, WR T.Y. Hilton, TE Jack Doyle (4)
- Tackles — LB Antonio Morrison (108 total)
- Sacks — DE Jabaal Sheard (5.5)
- Interceptions — S Malik Hooker (3)
- Passing — QB Josh McCown (2,926 yards)
- Rushing — RB Bilal Powell (772 yards)
- Receiving — WR Robby Anderson (941 yards)
- Touchdowns — WR Robby Anderson (7)
- Tackles — ILB Darron Lee (94)
- Sacks — ILB David Bass (3.5)
- Interceptions — S Marcus Maye (2)
COMPARING 2017 STATS
- Total offense — 31st (284.8 YPG)
- Scoring offense — 30th (16.4 PPG)
- Passing offense — 30th (180.8 YPG)
- Running offense — 22nd (103.8 YPG)
- Total defense — 30th (367.1 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 30th (25.2 PPG)
- Passing defense — 28th (246.6 YPG)
- Sacks — 31st (25)
- Running defense — 26th (120.4 YPG)
- Time of possession — 22nd (29:41)
- Turnover margin — 13th (+5)
- Total offense — 28th (305.2 YPG)
- Scoring offense — 24th (18.6 PPG)
- Passing offense — 24th (198.9 YPG)
- Running offense — 19th (106.4 YPG)
- Total defense — 25th (352.2 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 22nd (23.9 PPG)
- Passing defense — 21st (234.3 YPG)
- Sacks — 28th (28)
- Running defense — 24th (117.9 YPG)
- Time of possession — 13th (30:13)
- Turnover margin — 25th (-4)
Other 2018 Colts Season Previews:
Highlights from the Colts win over the Jets on Monday Night Football.