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New York Jets Pass Offense vs. Indianapolis Colts Pass Defense

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The Jets need Mark Sanchez to play a perfect game. The other quarterback is too good to give gifts in terms of turnovers and field position. If the Colts score any points off a Sanchez turnover, it's going to be very, very difficult for the Jets to win. Mark will probably be in code red all game long. In an ideal world, the Jets will be able to run effectively enough to control the clock and ask him to do about as much as he did at Oakland.

The Colts depend primarily on their defensive line to generate a pass rush. They aren't a team that is going to show Sanchez too many confusing looks at least relatively. It's a scheme based on execution. Indy doesn't generate much of a push up the middle with the tackles. The ends, though, comprise an excellent duo of speed rushers. Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney have a combined 21 sacks on the year. They both try to strip the ball whenever they go after the quarterback. That's scary given Sanchez's ball protection issues. I feel all right about Freeney matching up against D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Damien Woody will need help against Mathis, though. I can imagine Mathis' speed giving Woody problems. Both ends are battling injuries, though, and were limited in practice this week. The duo didn't start last week in Jacksonville and played situationally. Raheem Brock and Keyunta Dawson started in their place a week ago. Dawson is out with a knee injury. That probably means more Mathis and Freeney.

In order to limit mistakes, I think the Jets tell Sanchez to make Dustin Keller his first look and hope Dustin can find a hole when the Colts play zone. Gary Brackett, Clint Session, and Philip Wheeler, Indy's linebackers, are average in coverage. In theory, Dustin could have an edge, but I'm sold on that. These guys are pretty athletic, and Keller hasn't lit the world on fire.

There could be some advantages on the outside. Marlin Jackson is out for the year with the Colts at corner. Kelvin Hayden is a starter at corner. The Jets will be able to thank Indianapolis for giving him an obscene contract in the offseason in a few years when Darrelle Revis' rookie pact ends. How Hayden plays Braylon Edwards will be a key. The Colts will want to stack the box. If Edwards wins the matchup, the Colts will have to keep safety help more than they want instead of dedicating a defender to the run. The Jets may take a look deep early to keep the Colts honest. The other starter, Jerraud Powers, is out for this one, leaving Jacob Lacey against Jerricho Cotchery. That looks good for the Jets.

Ultimately, though, the Jets don't want the passing game to decide it. Even if certain matchups do look favorable, trading touchdowns with Peyton Manning isn't something Mark Sanchez is ready to do at this point.