Coming off the best season of his career, Andrew Luck was supposed to lead the Colts to a cakewalk over the Bills last week as a mere formality on the march to Super Bowl 50. It didn’t quite work out that way.
Luck went 26 for 46 in pass attempts, with two interceptions and no touchdowns until the end of the third quarter, while his backfield managed only 64 yards. The Colts' defense didn’t fare much better, allowing the Bills to score on four consecutive possessions to run up a 24-0 lead.
Meanwhile in New York (actually New Jersey), the traditionally hapless Jets, who lost QB Geno Smith in the preseason to a broken jaw – because a teammate punched him, no less – surprised everyone by lighting up the Cleveland Browns 31-10, with replacement QB Ryan Fitzpatrick going 15 for 24 with two TDs and RB Chris Ivory carrying for two more.
The Bills' secondary, not regarded as one of the strongest in the league going into week 1, gave the Colts a lot of trouble, and New York’s Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie (if healthy) are likely to be even tougher, which will put some pressure on Indianapolis' backfield to control the ball against the Jets' formidable run defense.
But even an underperforming Colts team is likely to give the Jets more trouble than the Browns did: Fitzpatrick’s luck at QB is bound to run out before long, and with Luck and company now out to prove that their week 1 tumble was little more than an attention-getter to get the team focused on fulfilling its projected destiny, it seems likely that this will be a tough game.
Watch the New York Jets vs. the Indianapolis Colts at 8:30pm ET on ESPN.
Note: because of an exclusive contract between the NFL and Verizon, the game will not be available on mobile phones.