Is it even possible? Rex Ryan and Co. have spent literally all week devising a game plan to stop the four-time NFL MVP. Expect the Jets to feature an array of unconventional looks and blitzes in an attempt to stymie the Colts’ prolific passer. Manning will be without receiver, Austin Collie and stud tight end, Dallas Clark who shredded the Jets for 158 yards and two scores in the last season’s AFC Championship. Ultimately, there’s only one way to stop Peyton Manning and it has nothing to do with Rex Ryan’s defensive mechanisms.

The key to stopping Peyton Manning lies within the mindset of Jets offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer. If Schottenheimer’s offense is able to control the clock through a strong ground game, Manning’s opportunities will be limited. In last season’s AFC Championship game, Manning shredded the Jets for 377 yards and three touchdowns. Manning scored 24 unanswered points as the Colts topped the Jets, 30-17. The Jets were ineffective at running the ball (29 carries, 86 yards). However, the Jets averaged 148 yards per game on the ground this season. Both LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene are averaging more than four yards per carry (4.2 and 4.1, respectively). Defensively for the Colts, they are giving up 127 rushing yards per game to opponents, further emphasizing the importance of a dominant ground game for the Jets.

Keeping the ball out of Peyton’s hands is the best way to stop him. When he is on the field, the Jets must keep putting pressure on him while trying to create turnovers. Manning was hit only five times in the AFC Championship and did not commit any turnovers. The Jets must increase both totals if they want a Divisional Round showdown in New England next weekend.