I've sat quietly and listened to all te "prognostication" in regard to the AFC Championship Game this week and a lot of ridiculous garbage is going around. I've decided I'm going to speak my peace on a few subjects before the game:
1. The Jets beat the Chargers so they should beat the Colts... The Jets beat the Chargers for two reasons. Number one was that the Chargers thought they were so good in the passing game that they didn't need to make any adjustments to their game-plan to account for the Jets ferocious blitz. No team, I don't care who you are, can consistently take 7 and 9 step drops against a team with a blitz as effective as the Jets has been this season. By doing this, these plays took long develop which gave rushers ample time to pressure Rivers and force incompletions, sacks, and Revis' (since Revis has been elected God of the Cornerbacks I'd like to change the name of Interceptions to'). Norv Turner is obviously not smart enough to see this coming and I was dumbfounded when the Chargers didn't attempt more short throws in that game. I'd like to give all the credit in the world to the Jets defensively for doing what they had to do, but you have to admit the Chargers played to your strengths.
The other reason the Jets beat the Chargers is because the Chargers are immature group of children with a bad kicker to boot. Nate Kaeding really only missed two FG's because marching him out onto the field for the 57-yarder was suicidal. Revis, had he been provided with a block or two, could have easily returned that miss for a TD which would have tied the game at halftime. That's flat out stupidity. They also had several very stupid penalties, most notably the Vincent Jackson Pele' impression. What a moronic move by a guy who was lobbying to get into the Pro Bowl.
2. The Jets are going to prove they would have beaten the Colts in Week 15... The real question is who cares who actually would've won this game? The Colts were minus 5 starters in key positions including Clint Session and Robert Mathis, two of their biggest defensive contributors. The Jets offense scored exactly 3 points against the Colts already banged up defense and only 15 points total. That wasn't a sign of how this game will go however because I truly believe in mojo and momentum and the Jets have both on their side at this point. For all I'm concerned you can throw the Week 15 game out completely.
I see this game following a very distinct pattern. The Colts offense will move the ball in small chunks against an aggressive Jets D, often punting and settling for FG's. This will put them in good field position for the majority of the game. I imagine they will score a TD in each half. Manning will audible to runs when a pass isn't a high percentage play, and throw underneath to open receivers when the pressure is coming. If the Jets do sack Manning, it will be because of a missed block, not good coverage. Manning will get the ball out when nobody is open.
The Jets will run the ball efficiently but often have drives stall out in the red zone, settling for FG's. They will probably have a big special teams play, but nothing that will alter the outcome. Sanchez will continue to play smart because he understands the levity of the situation. Their defense will perform admirably. With all this being said, short of major plays on defense, winning the turnover battle, and big plays from their special teams the Jets are outclassed in this matchup.
I will be in attendance (Row 21 Section 115 30 yard line behind the Jets bench) and I was at the Steelers game in 2005 when the Colts were huge favorites against a team that was clearly not as talented as the Colts. The Steelers benefitted from great defense, spectacular coaching and preparation, and mistakes by the Indy offense from start to finish. ANYTHING can happen and I'm not naive enough to believe otherwise. I'd say good luck to both teams, let's pray no team suffers any injuries and that the game is fun to watch.
Posted on: January 23, 2010 12:00 am