Lucas Oil Stadium
Date: Sunday, January 8, 2011
8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Type Of Turf: Artificial Turf
Meeting Of The Year: First
N.Y. Jets 11-5-0
Season Record Vs. Spread:
N.Y. Jets 9-7-0
N.Y. Jets (R) 6-2-0
Indianapolis (H) 6-2-0
Home/Road Record Vs. Spread:
N.Y. Jets (R) 5-3-0
Indianapolis (H) 4-4-0
Record On Artificial Turf:
N.Y. Jets 7-4-0
Record On Artificial Turf Vs. Spread:
N.Y. Jets 5-6-0
Jets-Colts PreviewBy NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO
2011-01-08 15:51:06 -
Last year, Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts advanced to the Super Bowl at the expense of coach Rex Ryan and the upstart New York Jets.
Ryan and the Jets have a score to settle at Lucas Oil Stadium - and, this time, it's personal.
In a rematch of last season's AFC championship game, the Jets look to give the Colts a taste of playoff disappointment in a wild-card showdown Saturday night.
New York (11-5) went on improbable playoff run as the fifth seed last January, and appeared headed for a stunning Super Bowl appearance before Peyton Manning and the Colts (10-6) ended those hopes with a 30-17 win. Manning helped erase an 11-point, second-quarter deficit by throwing three touchdown passes, and Indianapolis dominated the second half by outscoring the Jets 17-0 before losing to New Orleans in the Super Bowl.
Ryan took that defeat personally and the boisterous coach is relishing the chance to return the favor.
"We are not going to Indianapolis to lose," Ryan said. "We are going there to win. This is about this year, and I've waited a full year for this."
Ryan has lost twice to Manning and Indianapolis in the playoffs with the other defeat coming as Baltimore's defensive coordinator in 2007.
"I don't know when I'm going to beat him, but I want it to be Saturday night," he said. "Is it personal? Yes, it's personal. It's personal against him, Reggie Wayne, all those guys, yeah. (Dwight) Freeney and (Robert) Mathis and those other dudes? Absolutely.
"It kills you. You fight so hard to get into the playoffs and when you lose, it's devastating. I want to put the shoe on the other foot, and I know our team does, too. I want (the Colts) to experience it this time."
Overall, the Colts are 5-1 against Ryan's defenses, and Manning has 12 scoring passes and two interceptions.
However, this could be Ryan and the Jets' best chance at eliminating Indianapolis, which needed a 43-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri as time expired to beat Tennessee 23-20 on Sunday and clinch a playoff berth. The Colts won their seventh AFC South title in eight years, reaching the playoffs for a ninth consecutive season to tie Dallas' NFL record.
"Consistency would be the word there," said Manning, who completed 27 of 41 passes for 264 yards and two TDs against the Titans. "It's doing your job every single week and every single year. I guess that's what you want to be, a consistent player and a consistent team."
Despite reaching the playoffs again, Manning has been criticized for having what's been perceived as a down season. However, his 4,700 passing yards and 66.3 completion rate both ranked second in the league, and he was tied for second with 33 touchdown passes.
Manning also threw 17 INTs, one more than last season, while his passer rating dipped eight points to 91.9 - his lowest in eight years.
Left tackle Charlie Johnson was still impressed.
"The numbers speak for themselves, and I think anytime you have a guy throw for 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns, any team would take that," he said. "It just shows how productive he's been."
Manning has also put up those numbers while dealing with injuries to key targets Austin Collie (concussion) and Dallas Clark (wrist), who each caught scoring passes in last year's AFC title game.
"You're never going to stop Peyton Manning," Ryan said, "but you have to contain him enough to where he doesn't beat you by himself or light the scoreboard up, which he is capable of doing.
"We act like he's not human, but he is. He can make mistakes."
Putting pressure on Manning will be a priority for New York, which tied Tennessee for fourth in the AFC with 40 sacks during the regular season, 19 coming in the final six weeks.
"This game is really going to come down to the front four," said linebacker Calvin Pace, second on the team with 5 1/2 sacks. "I know we've taken some criticism in not necessarily getting the sack numbers that probably we should have, but we'll have to step our game up with the front four. And, it's not just blitzing as much, but rushing four guys and trying to get to Peyton."
The Jets will have a fully healthy Mark Sanchez at quarterback after he rested a sore shoulder Sunday in a 38-7 win over Buffalo. He played one series without throwing a pass.
"I'm feeling good," Sanchez said, "and ready to go Saturday."
Sanchez completed 17 of 30 passes for 257 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against the Colts in the playoffs last season. He'll now face a defense that's given up 24.3 points per game - 5.1 more than last season - and has allowed 345.6 total yards over the last nine games.
"These games, I don't know what it is," Sanchez said. "It's just that everybody has that understanding, 'It's win or go home,' and I don't want to watch any games the next week. I want to be playing in them."
If the Jets win, they'll visit the Patriots next week, while a victory for the Colts would send them to Pittsburgh.
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