Jets safety Marcus Maye says there's no confusion heading into Sunday's game at Indianapolis. He's played against Philip Rivers during the 17th-year pro's career and he's played against the Colts. And he's ready to take on Rivers and the Horseshoes at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"He looks good. He's still the same Philip," Maye said following Thursday's practice. "Quick release, knows where to go with the ball, seen a ton of defense. We've just got to be prepared for him."
The Green & White were fairly prepped back in Game 15 of the 2017 season, Maye's rookie season, when they kept Rivers somewhat contained to 22-of-40 passing for 290 yards and a touchdown but still lost to the newly relocated Los Angeles Chargers, 14-7.
The next season, the Jets held off Indy in a shootout, 42-34, at MetLife Stadium in October, and did so-so against Andrew Luck in one of his last games leading the Colts before retiring last summer — he was 23-of-43 for 301 yards, four TDs but also three interceptions, and the Jets stayed at least six points ahead the entire second half.
Of course, Rivers has a good appreciation for throwing to his tight end, which for many of his Chargers years was Antonio Gates. Luck, meanwhile, completed six passes to his tight ends vs. the Jets in '18, including an 18-yard TD to Eric Ebron on which Maye had some of the coverage. Mo Alie-Cox caught a pass in that game and this year is the TE starter and leads the Colts in receiving yards (131) on seven catches.
Maye, coming off the loss to the 49ers in which he had coverage on the two scoring catches by TE Jordan Reed, knows what all this means.
"It's another challenge. New week, new challenge, new team. So I don't expect anything different," he said. "Sure, they're going to still go to the tight end, and they've got great receivers. So we've just got to be prepared on the back end."
But as NFL players like to say, the other team gets paid, too. Rivers needs only 37 completions, 152 yards and one TD pass to reach three very significant plateaus for NFL quarterbacks: 5,000 completions, 60,000 yards and 400 TDs. He's going to find some of his receivers even if Maye and the Jets secondary are covering them with a big blanket.
But Maye knows what's most important in this one for the 0-2 Green & White.
"It's a big game," he said. "Besides it being the next game, it's a game that we definitely need. It's a team we've played before so there's some things that we're familiar with, some players we got from over there, so it's somewhat of a personal game for some people on this roster.
"That's the situation we're in. We're looking to come out on Sunday to get a win."
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