When the Jets are on defense...
6th in opponent's passing yards
3rd in opponent's rushing yards
Defensive Line - Sione Pouha (59 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL), Mike DeVito (59 tackles, 4 TFLs), Shaun Ellis (36 tackles, 4.5 sacks), Vernon Gholston (12 tackles, 1 TFL), Trevor Pryce (4 tackles, 1 sack)
The Jets defensive line doesn't do much in the way of getting after the quarterback, however they are efficient at stopping the run. Trevor Pryce has been out the previous few weeks but is expected back in the rotation. The Jets need their seasoned veteran, Ellis, to generate some type of pass rush from this group.
Linebackers - David Harris (99 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 TFLs), Bart Scott (81 tackles, 1 sack, 6 TFLs), Calvin Pace (51 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 TFLs, 1 INT), Bryan Thomas (39 tackles, 6 sacks, 3 TFLs), Jason Taylor (36 tackles, 5 sacks, 5 TFLs)
This unit hasn't produced the number of big plays you'd hope for. Despite being very good in run support, they struggle in pass coverage and haven't got to the quarterback enough. Jason Taylor and Calvin Pace need big games in particular as the team's top two pass rushers. David Harris had a pair of sacks against Peyton Manning last year in the AFC Championship Game.
Secondary - Darrelle Revis (32 tackles, 10 PDs), Antonio Cromartie (42 tackles, 17 PDs, 3 INTs), Brodney Pool (53 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT), Eric Smith (54 tackles, 1 sack), Dwight Lowery (19 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 INTs), Drew Coleman (41 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 INT), Marquice Cole (22 tackles, 2 INTs), James Ihedigbo (22 tackles, 3 sacks), Kyle Wilson (21 tackles, 5 PDs)
As you can see, the Jets have a ton of players who contribute in the secondary. Ironically, most of their pass rush comes from this unit. Darrelle Revis will be matched up with Reggie Wayne, while Antonio Cromartie will cover Pierre Garcon, who killed the Jets last year. The key to the game could very well be how players like Coleman, Pool and Lowery handle tight end Jacob Tamme and slot receiver Blair White. Don't be surprised to see a ton of packages that are defensive back heavy.
When the Colts are on defense...
13th in opponent's passing yards
25th in opponent's rushing yards
Defensive Line - Robert Mathis (60 tackles, 11 sacks), Dwight Freeney (25 tackles, 10 sacks), Eric Foster (33 tackles, 3.5 sacks), Keyunta Dawson (31 tackles), Fili Moala (26 tackles)
We all know about the Colts ability to get after the quarterback led by Mathis and Freeney. Fortunately, the Jets are equipped to handle this with their pair of tackles. However, it will be interesting to see if Damien Woody is struggling upon his return from injury, if they turn to Wayne Hunter who played very well the previous few weeks.
Linebackers - Gary Brackett (74 tackles, .5 sacks, 4 TFLs), Pat Angerer (88 tackles, 1 sack), Philip Wheeler (61 tackles), Kavell Conner (57 tackles)
This isn't a particularly strong group and there is no reason the Jets should be shy about running at them all day north and south with Shonn Greene. I am aware they have played better against the run lately but the Jets offensive line and fullbacks should be able to clear plenty of lanes.
Secondary - Antoine Bethea (106 tackles, 1 INT), Jacob Lacey (64 tackles, 1 INT), Kelvin Hayden (61 tackles, 2 INTs), Aaron Francisco (45 tackles, 2 INTs), Tyjuan Hagler (59 tackles, 1 INT), Justin Tryon (44 tackles)
This has been a banged up unit all year. There is no reason the Jets can't exploit them with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller. This isn't the game to handcuff Mark Sanchez. The Jets have superior talent on the outside and shouldn't hesitate to take advantage of it.
Advantage: Jets - The Jets have a better overall unit, despite all talk about Indy's pass rush, the Jets actually have 10 more sacks than them this year.