I Win This Time, Peyton.
Rex talked the talk and Rex backed it up. Rex Ryan won his third post-season road game in the last two years as the Jets topped the Colts, 17-16. After Adam Vinatieri nailed a 50-yard field goal to give the Colts 16-14 lead with 53 seconds to go, Antonio Cromartie ran the opening kickoff back 43 yards, putting the Jets back in business. Two key catches by Braylon Edwards, including a huge 18-yarder, put the Jets in field goal range. Nick Folk nailed a 32-yarder as time expired, giving the Jets an opportunity to take on their bitter rivals the New England Patriots next Sunday afternoon in Foxborough.
Head Scratching Moments:
00:29 4th Quarter: The Jets had the ball at the IND 32 with one timeout left and the Colts used their final timeout? I didn’t understand this at all. Essentially, the Colts gave the Jets two more plays instead of one. Following the IND timeout, a 18-yarder to Edwards gave Nick Folk a chip shot 32-yard field goal, sealing the Colts fate. If the Colts don’t take that timeout, Folk is looking at least at a 40-yard field goal.
Santonio’s Drop: On a huge 3rd and 5 with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Mark Sanchez threw a very catchable ball to Santonio Holmes for a first down. Holmes dropped the ball, setting up a punt. A Colt special team’s miscue gave the Jets a first down, bailing out Holmes.
Holmes is one of the more arrogant players in the league. Don’t dance, joke, and pose when you can’t catch a short five-yard out in the AFC Wild Card round.
Sanchez’s Accuracy: Sanchez made the critical throws on the Jets’ final drive (3/3 for 38 yards), but was otherwise sporadic (15/28 for 151 yards, 1 INT) before the game winning drive.
Good Moments for the Jets:
Revis Island: Is there a better defensive player in football? Revis held the Manning-Reggie Wayne combo to one yard tonight. Hard to believe the Jets played hardball with this guy during Training Camp.
Ground and Pound: The Jets basically did what I outlined earlier this week. Run the ball, keep Peyton off the field, and dominate the clock. The Jets out-rushed the Colts, 169 to 93 and won the possession battle (33:07 to 26:53). The Jets illustrated both of these facets during a nine-minute, third quarter drive, capped off by a two-yard LaDainian Tomlinson touchdown run.
With The Win….: A minor detail, but worth noting. With the win, the Jets will send a second round pick to San Diego as part of the Cromartie trade. If the Jets lost, they would only surrender a third rounder. I’m sure this is at the fore front of Rex’s mind right now.
Rex Ryan: As much as I hate the guy, I gotta give him credit. He has now won three road playoff games in three different venues over the last two seasons. He talked the talk all week. His team beat the Colts. They were the better team today. His biggest test will come next Sunday afternoon…
The Jets will now have eight days to prepare for a monster showdown in Foxborough against the Patriots. The two teams split the season series, each winning on their home turf. The Patriots crushed the Jets during their Week 13 showdown, 45-3. Tom Brady threw for 326 yards and four scores in the rout. Rex took some shots at the Pats during the week, so expect the battle-tested, brash coach to light a fire under his squad this week.
Expected Line: New England by 7.5