5 Bold Predictions for New York Jets' Week 2 Matchup
Every week in the NFL gives way to crazy turns of events.
Who would have guessed that the New York Jets defense would force five turnovers in the first game of the season? That's nearly half as many turnovers as the Jets forced in all of 2014 (13).
Week 2 is bound to be no different. The stats will change, but the excitement level will be the same.
With so much craziness taking place in seemingly every game, it's worth taking a shot at predicting the weekly wacky happenings.
Chris Ivory Will Rush for 100 Yards and 2 Touchdowns
Any team that faces the Indianapolis Colts from here on out has been put on notice. If you're not running the ball consistently, you're just not doing it right.
In their past two games (2014 AFC Championship, 2015 Week 1), the Colts have yielded 324 yards on 76 carries (4.3 yards per carry) and five rushing touchdowns. Until the Colts prove that they can stop the run, opposing teams should run the ball down their throats.
That's where Chris Ivory comes into play. The Jets' lead back carried the ball 20 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
The Colts had better bring Kevlar vests, because Ivory is going to come out with guns blazing and leave the Indy defense in his wake.
Eric Decker Will Tally 150 Receiving Yards and a Touchdown
Eight catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. That was Eric Decker's stat line the last time he played against the Colts.
Of course, that was in 2013 as a member of the Denver Broncos in Peyton Manning's record-setting season, but hey, we're being bold here. Why not predict Decker to have the same stat line he posted way back when?
He has only had better numbers in one game in a Jets uniform, and it was the final game of the 2014 season in which he pulled in 10 catches for 221 yards and a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.
Decker is one of the Jets' top wide receivers and was only targeted three times in Week 1. He could get his due in the Jets' second game of the season.
Leonard Williams Will Log His 1st and 2nd Regular-Season Sacks
It's only a matter of time before defensive lineman Leonard Williams begins to make his impact felt in a big way. The Jets' first-round pick, No. 6 overall in the draft, has all the talent in the world. All he needs is an opportunity to show it.
He lined up at right defensive end in Week 1 against the Browns, which meant he was facing off against five-time All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas. That's a tall order for Williams' first NFL game, but he rose to the occasion and notched three quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.
His challenge won't get any easier in Week 2 when he faces off against Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who allowed just two sacks in 2014, but the Colts offensive line has struggled overall in keeping pressure away from quarterback Andrew Luck. He was sacked just 27 times in 2014 but was pressured on 36.2 percent of his dropbacks, the eighth-highest rate in the league.
Williams doesn't have to beat Castonzo on every snap; at some point, the Jets are going to turn up the heat on Luck with a blitz. All Williams has to do is win one or two one-on-one matchups with Castonzo to make his impact felt.
Andrew Luck Will Attempt 40 or More Passes and Throw 3 or More Touchdowns
It's been an easy week to pile on Colts quarterback Andrew Luck; the former No. 1 overall pick completed just 53.1 percent of his throws for 243 yards, two touchdowns, two picks and a 63.6 passer rating in Week 1.
But if one thing is certain about Luck, it's that his coaches will give him every opportunity to carry the team to victory. He has attempted 40 or more passes in 25 out of 55 total games (regular season and playoffs) and has thrown three or more touchdown passes in 12 out of 55 games.
The Jets pass defense is supposed to be a strength, but the run defense is even stronger. Luck is a cerebral quarterback, so he's not likely to target cornerback Darrelle Revis all that frequently; in fact, per Pro Football Focus, he targeted Revis on eight passes in 2014, only two of which were completed (another two were intercepted). Expect Luck to search out the favorable matchups with linebackers against tight ends and try to go the high-efficiency route.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Will Earn More Than 10 Yards Per Pass Attempt
How can this be possible?
Ryan Fitzpatrick is criticized for having a noodle arm, lacking the downfield accuracy that could make him one of the game's better quarterbacks. He is much more likely to deliver accurate strikes in short spaces than he is to cause a major threat to the safeties down the field.
That being said, sometimes, a confluence of circumstances can lead to a surprising turn of events. The Colts defense might just be the group that gives Fitzpatrick one of the biggest games of his career.
He has only ever averaged more than 10 yards per pass attempt in three games in his NFL career, and one of those was an eight-attempt outing against the Jets in 2013. This would be on par with a solar eclipse.
Advanced stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.