Monday night's game will be a measuring stick for the New York Jets, who will hit the road for the first time this season when they play the Indianapolis Colts.
Following last week's season opening win over the Cleveland Browns, an emphatic 31-10 win where the Jets dominated both sides of the ball in the second half, this week's opponent is significantly better than the Browns. The Colts are led by one of the game's best quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and this team went to the AFC Championship Game last year.
"We're going to know about them, no doubt about it," Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath said about this game being a barometer for the Jets. "We have some players we're going to learn more about."
Namath singled out Marcus Williams, the cornerback who likely will start if Antonio Cromartie is unable to start.
Last week, the Colts lost 27-14 to the Buffalo Bills in a shockingly bad performance in virtually every facet of the game.
Three Things to Watch from the Jets in Week 2:
1. Decimated Colts Secondary – Indianapolis will be without cornerbacks Greg Toler and Darius Butler,removing two of their best cornerbacks from squaring off against the Jets. Toler was injured in training camp and Butler last week; more bad news for a secondary that let Tyrod Taylor have a 123.8 quarterback rating in his NFL debut for the Buffalo Bills. This could be a good (and big) day for Jets wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker if they can get separation.
2. And Then There's the Run Defense – Not only is the Jets passing offense poised to exploit the injuries to the Colts secondary, the Colts run defense is just bad. The Bills ran all over them last week to the tune of 147 yards on the ground. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell made mincemeat of the Browns run defense last week, especially in the second half when they found big holes. Could happen again before a national television audience.
3. Don't Forget About Namath's Pick – That would be Marcus Williams, who stepped in admirably last week when cornerback Antonio Cromartie went down with a knee injury. He had an interception in the second half, building on last year's stretch run where he settled in well. This could be a good statement game for Williams to demand a bigger role on the defense this year.