Florham Park, N.J. - These days, it seems any quarterback can be thrown in a game against the New York Jets and look like a Hall of Famer. In the first five weeks of the regular season, the Jets defense allowed quarterbacks to have a passer rating of 105.2 or higher. That is unheard of.
After five games, the Jets allowed 12 passing touchdowns, which ranked tied for 28th overall in the league. The trend continued the following week - to an extent - when Carson Palmer had a 94.4 passer rating in the Arizona Cardinals 28-3 rout over New York. Now, the Jets passing defense is ranked 21st allowing 263 passing yards per game with an average rating of 94.5.
Quarterbacks have had their way against the Jets this season. From a conservative Alex Smith to a hobbled Russell Wilson, New York's secondary has looked toasted, broken, beaten and flat out lost during key moments. Darrelle Revis is a shell of his former self and now faces allegations of quitting on the season by beat reporters, Buster Skrine has seen more flags thrown at him as the year goes on, Marcus Williams has not played 100 percent, and safeties Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor have not provided the downfield support the struggling corners needed when tested deep.
It's a disaster. Yet, in comes a quarterback who is battered behind an awful offensive line and poor supporting class around him. Monday night, Andrew Luck will likely stroll into MetLife Stadium with desires to leave New Jersey with a 6-6 record for the Indianapolis Colts. History says - believe it or not - that may not happen so easily.
Truth is, as bad as the Jets have been this season, they have a legitimate shot against the Colts. Indianapolis has a broken defense and struggling offense and there is not much more the talented Luck can do. Adding insult to injury for the Colts - their franchise quarterback has not looked good against the Jets in his career.
Luck hasn't been unlucky against New York. He simply hasn't been good enough. In two career starts, Luck is 0-2, completing 43-of-81 (53 percent) with one touchdown and five interceptions. His passer rating is a mere 52.0 and Luck has been sacked four times. In those two contests, the Jets outscored the Colts 55-16 (35-9 at MetLife Stadium in 2012 and 20-7 at Lucas Oil Stadium last season).
This season Luck is the signal caller for an offense that ranks 15th in the league in total yards per game (352 yards) but 11th in passing, averaging 257 yards per contest. He has thrown for 2,827 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Luck continues to go through concussion protocol but all signs point to him starting on Monday.
During the week of practice, Luck said the Jets defense is not a "passive" unit playing style wise. He isn't wrong. At times, the defense seems too aggressive, which explains why big plays have come at a premium. That may work into Luck's favor as T.Y. Hilton has the speed and breakout ability to run laps around New York's secondary. But, the rest of the Colts - including the coaching staff - complimented the Jets unit.
"[The Jets defensive line] is as good of a front as we will see," said head coach Chuck Pagano. "Big, long, aggressive. They seem to be in everybody's backfield all the time."
That means, Luck will need to scramble - something that he doesn't mind doing on a weekly basis. If needed, Luck runs. He is second on the team in both rushing attempts (51) and yards (246), averaging nearly five yards per carry. Luck has compiled 13 rushing touchdowns during his career. The Colts signal caller has five rush attempts for 23 yards in two games against the Jets.
Luck has not been good in his career against the Jets. Granted, the defenses he faced in 2012 and 2015 were ranked in the top 10 and are light-years ahead of the current unit. While the Colts quarterback has had his share of struggles in the past, he may find a lucky break Monday night when he takes the field against a defense that may have packed it in weeks ago.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).null