On Sunday the New York Jets concluded their regular season by destroying the hapless Buffalo Bills 38-7. The victory, which was the Jets 11th of the season, was just what the doctor ordered for Gang Green as the team was able to rest their starters while entering the playoffs on a positive note.
The New York Jets will begin their postseason run by taking on the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night (8:20 EST) at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts, winners of their last four games, will be a tough challenge for Gang Green as Peyton Manning and company are once again playing at a very high level.
Here are a few quick notes on the Indianapolis Colts.
Still one of the best- The Colts offense continues to put up impressive numbers (ranked 4th in the NFL) which is remarkable considering that they had a very ineffective running game and lost both Dallas Clark and Austin Collie for the season. Tight end Jacob Tamme and wide receiver Blair White have filled in admirably for the Colts.
Manning well protected- Once again Peyton Manning was one of the least sacked quarterbacks in the NFL, as the Colts offensive line only yielded 16 sacks and 48 quarterback hits. It is no secret that if you give Peyton time to throw the ball he will light up your defense.
Return of Rhodes- Even though the Colts running game has struggled, ranked 29th in the NFL, the return of running back Dominic Rhodes keeps opposing defenses honest. Rhodes, along with back Joseph Addai, can become a formidable one-two punch if the defense becomes too enamored with stopping the passing game.
Mathis and Freeney bring the heat- In Robert Mathis (11 sacks) and Dwight Freeney (10 sacks) the Colts have two pass rushers that can completely take over the game. The Jets must be able to run the ball in order to slow down Indy’s pass rush.
Improved run defense- The Indianapolis defense is ranked 25th against the run, but don’t let those numbers fool you as the unit as a whole has been playing much better lately. Over the last 3 games the Colts have shut down the ground games of the Raiders, Jaguars, and Titans.
All in all this rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game will be very interesting in terms of game plans and match-ups. Will the Jets be able to slow down the Colts passing game? Can Darrelle Revis once again shut down Reggie Wayne? Will Antonio Cromartie be able to contain Pierre Garcon? Can Mark Sanchez keep the Jets offense rolling? Will the Jets return to their “ground and pound” ways?
Stay tuned Jets fans as we will answer these questions and more all week long.
One sidenote: It was great to see rookie running back Joe McKnight break out on Sunday with 158 rushing yards. McKnight started off slow with the Jets and has really worked hard to make an impact on this team. You never know this kid could make some big plays in the playoffs.