EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- This shouldn't come as a shock, but the New York Jets will be eliminated from playoff contention if they lose Monday night.
In the parity-driven NFL, it's pretty hard to get bounced with four weeks to go, but this is what happens when you're 3-8. The Indianapolis Colts (5-6) aren't much better, but they play in the lowly AFC South, so they still have a chance.
Kickoff is 8:30 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium. Five thoughts on the game:
1. Home not-so-sweet home: One of the most disappointing aspects of the Jets' season (many to choose from) has been their poor play at home -- a 1-4 record. They're one of only five teams with fewer than two wins on their home turf. You can't be a consistent winner unless you establish a home-field advantage. The product isn't good and the fans are speaking out by dumping tickets. On one website, upper-level seats can be had for $5, which means a beer will cost more than a ticket. The empty seats will be the first thing owner Woody Johnson notices when he settles into his private suite, trust me.
2. Defensive line needs to dominate: It's the most talented position group on the team, yet the defensive line hasn't controlled a game since spearheading a seven-sack effort in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. If it doesn't happen against the Colts, it'll never happen. The Colts are starting two rookies on the offensive line, which explains why Andrew Luck has been sacked an NFL-high 35 times. Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) is questionable. Even without him, the Jets should have enough to disrupt Luck, who returns after missing one game with a concussion.
3. Time for Revis to make a play: Darrelle Revis has no interceptions and only two pass break-ups. He has to make a splashy play one of these weeks, doesn't he? Revis, who acknowledged last week he's having "a down year," tends to play his best in prime time. He made two fumble recoveries and an interception last season against the Colts in a Monday night game. It'll be interesting to see if the Jets trust him enough to cover T.Y. Hilton (60 catches, 942 yards, five touchdowns). They also have to keep an eye on Donte Moncrief, who has scored in four straight game -- the longest active streak in the league.
4. Fitz's last hurrah? We've been wondering that the last few weeks, but Ryan Fitzpatrick has nine lives. He was solid last week in a loss to the New England Patriots, and he should play well against an atrocious Indianapolis defense. The Colts have allowed 22 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 104.9. Vontae Davis still is a good cornerback (he'll probably cover Brandon Marshall), but the Colts have too many holes to combat even a tepid passing attack such as the Jets. The fourth quarter is the key. Fitzpatrick has committed a league-high 10 turnovers (out of his 14) in the fourth.
5. Battle of the graybeards: In a young man's sport, Matt Forte and Frank Gore are anomalies. Forte, who turns 31 on Dec. 10, has rushed for 9,631 yards in his career. Gore, 33, is up to 12,710 yards, putting him in ninth place on the all-time list. He's only 29 yards behind Tony Dorsett. Gore and Forte are proving there is life after 30 for running backs.