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New York Jets Run Defense vs. Indianapolis Colts Run Offense

The Colts throw more often than they run it. That is in no small part because they throw it better than they run it. Indy only averages 3.7 yards per carry. The past two seasons have not been pretty for Joseph Addai, who started his career off very well. His 3.7 average matches that of his team. Donald Brown, who has battled a chest injury, is due to return after missing the last 3 games. Brown is speedier and has had more success, averaging 4.5 yards on 59 carries. We could see a lot of Brown this week. The Colts may want to get him back into the flow, and IF they decide to sit their starters, the offense could become more run oriented. At this point, I'd consider him a bigger threat, although he is something of a feast or famine runner.

If Manning does play, it will be very, very important to shut down the run. He's better than anybody except maybe Chad Pennington using play action. The Indianapolis passing game is also tough enough to stop. The defense needs to focus on shutting it down.

The Colts like to run the ball outside. Sione Pouha and the linemen will all have key roles. I don't think the Jets can show too many 4 man fronts in this game. They need to have as many unidentified pass rushers. That puts a little extra on the plates of the linemen. Sione Pouha taking on Jeff Saturday will be a key matchup. However, just as key will be the play of outside linebackers Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace. Pace in particular has been caught out of position against the run in notable instances this year. We'll also need to see the secondary contribute in run support, perhaps more than usual. Kerry Rhodes will have to have his biggest game of the year. He'll be covering Dallas Clark and probably be asked to play an increased role against the run.