The Indianapolis Colts have their quarterback of the future in Andrew Luck, and will look to continue playing inspired football on the road against an erratic New York Jets team absent a clear, long-term answer at the game's most important position.
Tim Tebow lovers, you may get your wish soon enough.
I'm telling you right now, he's our starting quarterback this week.
Those 11 words have generated plenty of buzz over the past 24 hours, as it seems Tebow Time may be imminent. Never has Ryan not been 100 percent behind Sanchez in front of the media until this week.
Sanchez would certainly love to have talented rookie receiver Stephen Hill and favorite target in tight end Dustin Keller back in the fold to help the cause. Both are listed as questionable for Sunday's game.
Meanwhile, Luck and veteran Reggie Wayne have already established stunning rapport, keying the Colts' offensive attack.
Here is some more information and predictions for this Week 6 showdown in MetLife Stadium.
Current Betting Line (via OddsShark)
Spread: New York (-3.5)
Money Line: Indianapolis (+145), New York (-165)
What's at Stake
If Rex Ryan's words to the press are any indication, Mark Sanchez is playing for his job.
The fourth-year QB is completing a Tebow-esque 48.4 percent of his passes. The last signal-caller to have that low of a completion rate in his first five games of a season was JaMarcus Russell.
Not exactly great company.
Expectations were extremely low for Indianapolis to start the year, but head coach Chuck Pagano's leukemia diagnosis has changed the tone. The team had a stirring comeback victory in Week 5 against Green Bay and suddenly sit at 2-2.
This is a definite crossroads game for both teams' seasons. The Colts need to prove they can win on the road, while the Jets are looking to keep the Sanchize era afloat.
Injury News (via ESPN)
Vontae Davis, CB (ankle) DOUBTFUL, Fili Moala, DE (knee) DOUBTFUL, Pat Angerer, LB (foot) DOUBTFUL, Donald Brown, RB (knee) OUT, Robert Mathis, LB (knee) OUT.
New York Jets
Stephen Hill, WR (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE, Dustin Keller, TE (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE, Kenrick Ellis, DT (knee) OUT, Eric Smith, S (knee) OUT.
This game will come down to whether New York's front seven can get any pressure on Andrew Luck. It will be even more difficult than usual due to Luck's underrated mobility, and the absence of Kenrick Ellis certainly doesn't work in the Jets' favor.
Jets CB Antonio Cromartie won't be able to stay with Reggie Wayne all day, so getting heat on Luck will be extremely important to keep the Jets in it in front of the home crowd.
11th Hour Fantasy Advice
Andrew Luck: The complex defensive schemes of Rex Ryan are sure to give the No. 1 overall pick all he can handle. However, he faced a similarly difficult 3-4 setup against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5 while looking like a five-year veteran. Indianapolis is sixth in the league in passing yards per game, and Luck is definitely worth a shot without the presence of Revis Island.
Reggie Wayne: Defenses have rolled their coverage Wayne's way all season, but it hasn't mattered. Any notions that the longtime Colt has lost a step have been completely put to rest. He's unlikely to continue on his 2,000-yard pace, but he's a surefire No. 1 fantasy option every week.
Shonn Greene: The Jets' running back has struggled to get going all season. Part of that is the offensive line, but part of that must have to do with him. This should be a tighter game, meaning New York will have more time to establish the run. Greene still remains a shaky play at best.
Jeremy Kerley: Not one to lack confidence, Kerley showed that he can get it done even against an elite defense like the Houston Texans, catching a team-high five passes for 94 yards on Monday Night Football. Kerley will likely draw Jerraud Powers in coverage if Stephen Hill can't go and should have some flex value.
Both teams are allegedly defensive-minded, but neither defense is particularly strong at this point for various reasons. That said, there are so many moving parts on both offenses that the schemes confuse both quarterbacks into a couple mistakes.
In the end, the Colts have the advantage under center and one of the most clutch kickers in Adam Vinatieri. New York has been a bend-but-don't-break defense, which will stifle the Colts in the red zone.
If Sanchez fails to deliver for the second consecutive week on a game-winning drive—which is what feels like will happen—it will officially be Tebow Time.
Final score: Colts 23, Jets 17
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