New Horse in the Stable
After going 11-5 with Philip Rivers under center in the 2020 season, the Colts traded for former Eagles QB Carson Wentz. The No. 1 overall pick in 2016 has reunited with head coach Frank Reich, who was Philadelphia's offensive coordinator from 2016-17. Wentz had an MVP-caliber season in '17 before sustaining a knee injury late in the year.
Through eight games this season, he's thrown for 1,926 yards, 14 TDs and 3 INT while completing 62.2% of his passes. Wentz has done a good job of protecting the football so far after leading the NFL with 15 interceptions in 2020. Last week, however, Wentz threw an ill-advised interception late in regulation that was returned for a touchdown and another one in overtime against Tennessee. The Titans kicked a game-winning field goal on the ensuing drive.
"I think it's something as you go through game planning, as you go through study, you understand that if you fluster a guy like that, if you get after him, if you make him have to take his eyes off the receivers down field and worry about the rush, then you can affect him," DL Sheldon Rankins said. "Then you can force him into bad throws, you can get sacks, get the ball out of his hands and that does nothing but get the ball back to our offense and allow them to get rolling.
"I've played Carson a few times and understanding the player he is and understanding the things he likes to do on the field, it'll definitely be on us to get after him and force him to kind of take his eyes off the routes down the field and make him run around and force him into some bad throws."
Jets OL vs. Colts DL
For the first time since Week 2, the Jets could start a different offensive line combination because George Fant is dealing with an ankle injury. Fant played the first 31 snaps against the Bengals before he was replaced by Chuma Edoga, who took the remaining 53. Edoga, a third-round pick in 2019, had an 81.7 pass-block grade against the Bengals, according to Pro Football Focus. If he starts Thursday, he'd line up next to fellow USC Trojan Alijah Vera-Tucker.
"We played when I was at right guard and he was at right tackle, so we played some games together over there," Vera-Tucker said. "When Chuma came in, there was really no difference. Chuma is a good tackle, it's just communication has to always be there and stuff like that, which it was."
AVT, who's excited for his first primetime game Thursday night, will see a lot of Colts All-Pro DT DeForest Buckner, who has 4.5 sacks this season.
"He's a lengthy guy, great player," he said. "I got a whole lot of respect for him. Tall, physical and I just have to match that."
Preparing on a Short Week
The Jets are a young team faced with a quick turnaround as they travel Wednesday to Indianapolis for Thursday's game. The Green & White will conduct walk-throughs instead of practice this week, preserving their bodies for their second game in five days.
"This week is mainly mental preparation more than physical preparation," LB C.J. Mosley said. "We're coming off of a short week, making sure guys regen, get their bodies as close to 100% as possible. Thankfully, we didn't have too many injuries besides the normal football bumps and bruises, so that was a good thing. It's all about mental preparation in a short week. We're trying to get the film study in, get the game plan in and just watch a lot of film and know our opponent inside and out."