January 8, 2011
Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis, Indiana
Keys to a Jets Victory:
1. Running the clock- The Colts finished the season at 25th against the run, ceding an average of 127 yards per game on the ground. The Jets will need to do two things effectively on offense to win the game ….control the clock and remove the hostile home crowd from the game. Obviously, Shonn Greene will carry the load here but rookie RB Joe McKnight’s performance last week may have intrigued offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer enough to work him into some packages. In any case, the last thing the Jets will want to be involved in is a shootout, so there only real shot here is to run the ball early, often and effectively.
2. Mistake-free game: The Colts may not have a fierce defense, but rest assured that they will be pumped up to take advantage of any miscue the Jets hand them. It is utterly crucial that the team not put QB Mark Sanchez into a position where he is forced to try to make things happen. They will have to stand strong against the pass rush of Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney and give him time to clearly go through his options.
1. Manning up- It truly should be no secret at this point that as Peyton Manning goes, so do the Colts. He has looked uncharacteristically skittish at times this season, though, and the Jets have the personnel to do some damage here. Besides producing a dominant pass rush, the Jets’ defensive schemes must be confusing nough that even a football genius like Manning is left guessing.
2. Put Wayne on Revis Island- If there was ever a time for Darrelle Revis to finally prove that he deserved that monumental raise in the off-season, this is it. Reggie Wayne produces magical moments on a consistent basis and, if Manning does get into trouble at any point, he will look for Wayne to bail him out. Revis simply cannot allow that to happen.
Final Prediction: Colts 31, Jets 21
About the Author
Written by Frank Mazzola