Three-point stance: Indianapolis Colts

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
8:00
PM ET
Andrew Luck and the 2-2 Indianapolis Colts travel to play the Jets, who will host their third straight home game. Luck has played well in his rookie season and trails only former Colts star Peyton Manning, now with Denver, in Total QBR among AFC quarterbacks.

Luck, the No. 1 pick in April's draft, has passed for at least 300 yards in three out of his first four games.

The Jets have measured well against the pass and currently rank sixth overall in passing defense, behind only the Steelers and Texans in the AFC. The Colts enter with the AFC lead in most plays run with at least four wide receivers. That will test the depth chart for the Jets, especially with Darrelle Revis out for the year.

Let's preview three keys to this Week 6 showdown:

1. The Jets will have to defend Reggie Wayne, the NFL's co-leader in receiving targets this season. The veteran wideout has stretched the field for his young quarterback and leads the league in receptions on throws that travel 11 yards or more in the air. In fact, the Colts as a team have pressed hard on opposing secondaries with an average target depth of 10.3 yards downfield, good for second in the NFL. The Jets should still get chances to force a turnover, however, as Luck has had passes defended more often than any other player.

2. Gang Green might finally get the opportunity to run the ball well. The Colts have allowed 5.1 yards per rush when they are in the base formation, the worst of any 3-4 defense. They have also allowed four rushing touchdowns on 14 red-zone attempts (28.6 percent) which ranks 31st in the league. With FB John Conner questionable for Sunday, the Jets might want to mix and match Shonn Greene with Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell and Tim Tebow in the backfield. The Colts are allowing 6.3 yards per rush with at least two running backs on the field, which ranks last in the NFL.

3. Look for a different pass rush from the Colts, who have changed drastically since these teams last met in the 2010 wild card. The Colts led the NFL in both 2010 and 2011 in highest percentage of opponent dropbacks when sending a pass rush with four or fewer defenders. With a new 3-4 scheme, Indy has dropped to 26th in that same category. The 21.4 percent increase in added pressure compared with 2011 is far and away the highest change in the NFL. They have tallied 75 percent of sacks with the blitz compared to 17 percent a season ago, another reason the Jets might want to stack the backfield for added protection.

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