Few expected the Jets to win two of their first three games, and fewer are expecting them to defeat the Colts at the Meadowlands on Sunday. Despite their record, the Jets are a nine-point underdog at home. A win would be an emphatic statement, and a loss would be nothing to get riled up about. The Jets have little to lose.
But they have plenty to worry about. Indianapolis' offense isn't guided by J.P. Losman, and its receiving corps isn't depleted like New England's. Sure, it struggled against Jacksonville last week, but the Jaguars' defense is physical and could finish among the league's elite. Jets coach Eric Mangini was on Patriots staffs that contained Peyton Manning, but last year, when he was New England's defensive coordinator, his defense, albeit depleted, was shredded.
Even a banged-up Colts defense will get pressure on Chad Pennington, who has looked revived through three games. He'll need to play a perfect game, but the Jets won't be in this contest unless their defense rattles Manning, something that's hard to do. The Jets may not deseve to be nine-point underdogs, but they're the underdogs for a reason.