INDIANAPOLIS — It has gotten ugly early for the Jets this season, and it might get even uglier Sunday.
The Jets (0-2) travel to face the Colts (1-1), hoping to look like a competitive NFL team, which they have not been able to do in their first two games.
Things have not been this hopeless around the team in a while, and that is saying something for a franchise that has not been to the Super Bowl in more than 50 years. The fans want coach Adam Gase fired. There are questions about would-be franchise quarterback Sam Darnold. The injuries are mounting. They have been outscored 42-6 in the first half of their two games. It is hard to find reasons to believe this is going to turn around anytime soon.
That is the backdrop for this contest with Philip Rivers and the Colts. There was not much the Jets could say this week to ease the pain of their first two games.
“I think for us right now, we need to do less talking and more acting,” Darnold said.
The defense was as bad as the offense last week in the 31-13 loss to the 49ers, but the real pressure is on Gase and Darnold to get this offense going. They have scored three touchdowns this season, and two of them came in garbage time.
A quick start on Sunday would go a long way toward building up some confidence that the Jets are not just everyone’s Homecoming opponent this year.
“Anytime that you can, whether it be score on your first drive or get a three-and-out on your first drive [defensively], or at least just make them punt, that’s always ideal,” Gase said. “You can’t let one drive affect you though for the entire game. That’s part of the NFL, nothing comes easy. You’ve got to battle for every yard, every first down, every stop.”
The Colts are coming off an impressive 28-11 win over the Vikings, a game in which they shut down Kirk Cousins. With the Jets looking so hapless, the Colts could come into this game overconfident and looking past them. But Colts coach Frank Reich said that won’t happen.
“We know what we have to do,” Reich said. “We know it’s early in the year. I don’t know how many teams are 0-2. I’m not looking around the league. I’m looking at us and our next opponent. It’s so small of a sample size. You know in this league you can beat any week if you’re not ready to play. We’re focused on what we need to do.”