It has been more than a year since the Jets won consecutive games. You have to go back to Oct. 8, 2017 — when they beat the Browns for their third straight win.
On Sunday, they have a chance to break that string of inconsistency when the 1-4 Colts come to MetLife Stadium. The 2-3 Jets won in impressive fashion last week against the Broncos. They ran for more than 300 yards, had explosive plays for touchdowns and played swarming defense. Now, can they do it again?
“We got to start stacking one on top of the other if we want to go anywhere,” coach Todd Bowles said. “You don’t want to be up and down every week. We got to establish some type of even flow, so we’re trying to get some wins stacked up.”
Stacking wins is something the Jets have been unable to do much of lately. The latest failure came after a big Week 1 over the Lions, which was followed up with a flop at home against the Dolphins to begin a three-game losing streak.
The Colts arrive in New Jersey with a bunch of injuries and riding a three-game losing streak of their own. They are desperate for a win and the Jets are desperate to prove last week was not a fluke.
“We have bigger goals than winning one or two games,” offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “We have to find a way to put ourselves in contention to go after some of the accomplishments that are needed to get in the playoffs, to put ourselves in the driver’s seat. We still have a long way to go.”
Bowles laughed at the idea the Jets “can’t let their guard down” this week against a one-win Colts team.
“We’re 2-3 right now, so we have no guard to let down,” Bowles said. “We’re trying to stack wins on top of each other, if we can get to 13-3 then we’re saying something. But we’re so far from that it is not even possible, so we’re going to go week by week, and just try to play the opponent that we got.”
The Jets stressed attention to detail this week and not allowing little things to become big things. This is the second game in a three-game homestand. With the Vikings looming next week, a win Sunday would say something about who this Jets team is.
Colts QB Andrew Luck vs. the Jets secondary
Andrew Luck appears to be just fine. After missing last season following shoulder surgery, Luck has answered any health questions in the past two weeks. In those games, he has thrown 121 passes for 829 yards, staggering numbers. The Colts are relying on him because their run game is non-existent.
“[I’m seeing] the same thing that I saw from him before he got hurt,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “Outstanding quarterback, knows the game inside and out. You’re not going to surprise him with anything, he’s seen everything, he’s very accurate, knows the offense inside and out. We just got to try to slow him down, disrupt him and hope he has a bad day.”
For the Jets, they will be missing two of their top three cornerbacks for this game with Trumaine Johnson (quad) and Buster Skrine (concussion) out. That is bad news for a unit that was carved up by Blake Bortles two weeks ago for 388 yards. Expect Darryl Roberts and Parry Nickerson to be in the lineup with Rashard Robinson also a possibility to get some playing time.
Draw the line: The Jets’ offensive line had its best game of the season last week. They opened up huge holes for Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell while rolling for 323 rushing yards, the second-best total in franchise history. They also gave Sam Darnold time, allowing just one sack. Now, they face a Colts defense that has 17 sacks, the third-most in the NFL.
“We need to have a game where we have zero sacks, zero hits,” offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “We haven’t gotten to that point yet. That’s where we need to get to. We need to be able to run for 150 every week, not 300 this week and 60 the next week. It can’t be that way. It has to be 150, 200 every single week. We haven’t gotten to that type of consistency yet. When we get there, we’ll be in a good spot.”
Hurting horseshoes: The Colts must need two training rooms right now because they have so many injuries. Even after 10 days of rest following their Thursday game, the Colts come into Sunday missing starters all over the field. The headliner is wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who has a hamstring injury. They area also without starting tight end Jack Doyle (hip) and guard Matt Slauson (back), who is done for the season. You could see how badly the Colts missed Hilton and Doyle in the past two losses with their players dropping 15 of Luck’s passes in those games.
Big-play bonanza: The Jets’ offense broke out last week with six plays of 30 yards or more after having just four such plays in their first four games. Crowell and Robby Anderson each had touchdowns of more than 70 yards. The Jets know they can’t live on that kind of big-play offense every week, but they believe it showed their potential.
“We’re going to be dangerous,” wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said. “It’s just about putting it all together. We’re young. Well, we’re not young but we have a young quarterback. Each game he’s going to keep getting better and he’s going to be able to find what he needs to find. I think it’s just about us staying patient and riding with him because we know how good he can be.”
Third things first: The Colts have been remarkable on third down this season. Andrew Luck and Co. have converted on 50.6 percent of the time, the best in the NFL. Last week, Luck connected with tight end Eric Ebon on third down four times for first downs.
The Jets’ defense has not been bad on third down, so this will be an interesting test for it. They have allowed conversions on 35.6 percent of third downs, 13th in the league. They were very stout against the Broncos last week, holding them to a 4-for-14 day on third down.
The Colts are better than you think. They only have one win, but they have been in every game. They come to MetLife as a desperate team. I like desperate teams. The Jets offense has a good day, but Andrew Luck lights up the Jets defense.
Colts 27, Jets 24