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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Colts have to prove playoff credentials

Indianapolis are right in the post-season hunt

Indianapolis should welcome back Andrew Luck
1 of 1

Week 13
Sky Sports 1, 1.30am Tuesday

It has been an uninspiring season for Indianapolis but the dismal nature of the AFC South means the Colts still have a decent chance of extending their season into the new year.

They have won five of their 11 games but they are entering a key stage of their campaign having just had a bye week, which has given quarterback Andrew Luck the ideal opportunity to recover from the concussion that made him miss the 24-7 Thanksgiving defeat to Pittsburgh.

And they will want their star player to be on top form as next week they host Houston, their chief rivals for the division.

While the Colts have plenty of motivation to find their rhythm as the closing weeks of the regular season approach, the same cannot be said of the 3-8 Jets, who are already out of the AFC East race.

They have a decent defence and some of their playmakers should be a big threat, with Brandon Marshall still a talented receiver and Matt Forte an industrious runnng back.

Forte has scored five touchdowns in the last five games but the Jets just haven't got going and thoughts will already be turning to next year, especially if they are successful in what could be an interesting race for the services of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.

The current occupant Ryan Fitzpatrick has been poor and that is what tempers enthusiasm for the Jets for the rest of the campaign. While they put in a spirited performance in defeat to New England last week, when they led in the fourth quarter before falling to a 22-17 defeat, they have little but pride to play for.

Luck may take a while to find his feet after his bang on the head and he is still up against a decent defence, even if the Jets secondary struggled when they faced quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger.

It does not look like a match that captures the imagination to the degree that was imagined when it was originally scheduled for a Monday night and the questions concerning the ability of both teams mean a points line of 49 may prove too high.

Under 49 points
1pt 20-23 Betfred, Paddy Power

The lowdown
Venue MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Surface Artificial
Weather Cloudy, 4C
Best handicaps Indianapolis -1, New York Jets +1.5
Points line 48.5-49 points

Team news
Quarterback Andrew Luck is set to return after missing the defeat to Pittsburgh with concussion and hopes are high that safety Clayton Geathers will also be available after a similar issue
New York Jets
The Jets are waiting on the fitness of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, safety Calvin Pryor, linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin and defensive tackle Steve McLendon, while centre Nick Mangold should be available after an ankle injury

Key stat
The points total has gone over the line in five of Indianapolis's last seven games against the Jets

Luck may take a while to find his feet after his bang on the head and he is still up against a decent defence
E.W. Terms
Sky bet