Blog Entry

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Posted on: January 6, 2011 8:35 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 11:14 am
Posted by Andy Benoit's patented and award-winning 7-point playoff preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. And as an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:

1. New York Jets (No. 6, AFC, 11-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (No. 3, AFC, 10-6)

Rex Ryan is getting yet another crack at a legendary quarterback who is 5-0 all-time against him (counting Ryan’s days as the Ravens defensive coordinator…and NOT counting the Week 16 Curtis Painter Game from last year). Ryan calls his matchup with Peyton Manning “personal” – almost like it’s a foot fetish issue or something. Or maybe by “personal” Ryan means that he takes the losses personal (yeah…probably that one). In that case, someone can inform Ryan that Manning isn’t making it personal – he tries to exploit the holes of every opposing coach’s system.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking (On a scale of 5 'Jim Mora Faces')

AFC Championship rematch? Definitely worthy of primetime slot and 5/5 Jim Mora Faces. (And any game that follows an NFC West-related game is going to naturally look great by comparison.)

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Jets DB's Drew Coleman & Dwight Lowery vs. Colts Blair White & Jacob Tamme

The winner of this weakness-on-weakness matchup could very well determine the outcome of the game. About 10 seconds after they learned they were playing the Colts, the Jets announced that shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis would shadow 111-catch wideout Reggie Wayne. In the past, Manning has had no problem going elsewhere with the ball when Wayne is bracketed by safety help or facing a superstar cover artist.

Manning’s No. 2 option Saturday is Pierre Garcon, though Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie poses a tough challenge. Cromartie does not have the physicality or technique to grind with the über-strong Garcon, but his lanky 6’2” frame and ball skills give him lethal playmaking prowess. Manning knows all about that playmaking prowess – he’s been picked off four times by the ex-Charger (three coming in an ’07 Sunday night contest).

And so we get to Manning’s third read: wideout Blair White or tight end Jacob Tamme (depending on the formation). Both are better options than you’d guess but, of course, worse options than their injured predecessors (Austin Collie and Dallas Clark). What makes White’s and Tamme’s wild card contributions significant is that the Jets ancillary pass defenders have struggled mightily at times this season. The 45-3 shellacking from the Patriots, for example, was a product of Tom Brady throwing repeatedly to whichever receiver New York’s backup corners lined up against. That said, White and Tamme are not as dynamic as Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez.

As defensive backs go, Coleman and Lowery are both very good blitzers. Though he hasn’t done so nearly as often this season, perhaps Ryan will elect to gamble. Manning, however, is revered around the league for his ability to punish a blitz (he has mastered “the little things”). In all likelihood, the Jets are going to have to rely on their backup defenders winning their man-to-man matchups. Ironically (and fortunately), those matchups are against Indy’s backups.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

There is a certain video involving a certain member of the Jets coaching staff circulating around the internet these days, but at some we have to commit to having maturity and class. So, we’ll pass along something else. Because interceptions were a bit of a bugaboo for Indy’s quarterback this season, and because this game (like all playoff games….and all games in general) will probably come down to turnovers, we’re going with The Manning Face.

5. The Colts will win if ...

Their defense can hold an opponent to 80 yards rushing or less for a fourth straight game. In fact, keeping the Jets’ sixth-ranked rushing attack under 125 yards would probably do the trick.

6. The Jets will win if ...

They can maintain a simplistic, ball-control oriented gameplan for Mark Sanchez. Doing that involves playing for field position, keeping the score close by limiting the Colts’ possessions early and banking on at least one big play (think Brad Smith kick return, Santonio Holmes catch-and-run or a turnover that leads to immediate points).

7. Prediction: Colts 24, Jets 17

Since: Jan 8, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2011 1:05 pm

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Deer in the head lights.... what a joke !!!!!  Peyton Manning will have no trouble carving up the jets !! This matchup should end up 34-16. Look for the Colts to be there in the end with a rematch against the Saints!!! Go Colts !!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 8, 2011 1:00 pm

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Change "what Peyton Manning does to every other team" to "what Peyton Manning does to AFC South teams and what he does while playing in regular season games against weak/mediocre defenses in domes or in warm weather stadiums" and your ramblings would sound more true and less like more of the media/Manning love affair that has caused him to be the most overrated quarterback in NFL history.

Since: Dec 29, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2011 12:42 pm

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Not to mention with 2 very capable corners its very possible the jets could get good pressure on Manning.  We have all seen how that turns out.  He becomes more of a deer in headlights than a quarterback.  Im anticiapting yet another Manning choke.  Go STEELERS! 

Since: Dec 29, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2011 12:35 pm

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Manning gives the colts a shot but to say the colts have the better squad is a joke.  Jets recievers are beastly.  They make sanchez what he is, im not saying he is very good.  But as we've seen all year hes good enough to get them the ball and they take over from there.  The Jets defense is way better than the Colts defense.  If you dispute that then ur nuts.  But defenses win championships, the Jets are tough and physical and the Colts ALWAYS have trouble with teams like this.  The Steelers, the Ravens, the Jets.  These are tough brutal teams and although Indy probably matches up with New England better than anyone else they dont want to play a tough physical team because theyre soft.  And thats their weakness.  If Manning plays well and they control the clock and somehow can run the ball and play excellent defense they have a good chance.  But it doesnt matter because theyll lose by 20 in Pittsburgh next week anyway.  GO STEELERS!

Since: Apr 14, 2009
Posted on: January 8, 2011 11:59 am

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

The Colts are the better team top to bottom, and I'm no Colts fan.  Manning, even though not a great playoff QB, is lightyears ahead of Mark Sanchez.  Even with Clark and Collie out, they still have Wayne, a healthy Garcon, Tamme has played very well, and so has Blair White in Collie's absence.  The Jets Defense is, just as another poster put it, a lot like their head coach - all talk.  You gave up 45 points to the Pats on a prime-time game with the division on the line.  You gave up 38 to the Bears.  The Jets secondary is as overrated as it gets in the NFL.  With no pass rush, Manning will have time to go through his progessions and pick apart the secondary, which has been aweful, especially since Leonard went on IR.  The Colts have been playing better defense the last few weeks as it seems they are getting healthier, and Freeney and Mathis are as effective as ever.  Is this the best Colts team that we've seen? Heck no, but they will have no problem against a Mark Sanchez led offense at home in the dome.

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: January 8, 2011 11:54 am

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

The jets will take them apart.  Jets win

Since: Dec 29, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2011 11:34 am

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Jets are a better team top to bottom, no question.  Not to mention Peyton is on the downside of his career and was never much of a gamer in the playoffs.  Regardless of the venue for the games the Colts simply cant hang in this one.  Theyll have a shot to win it but they wont.  I bet if it was a regular season game Manning would get it done tho.  He just dont have it in the playoffs.  End of story.  GO STEELERS!

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: January 8, 2011 10:50 am

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Jets will come out wanting to bust us in the chops, with ill advised blitzes and Peyton will find the open receivers and score many points off his aggression. Our defensive mind set is to bend but don't break will grow on them as they slip further behind, they will start taking risky chances and we'll create turnovers and better scoring opportunities. Colt win 27 - 17

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: January 8, 2011 9:30 am

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

The jets D has been horrible down the last few weeks of the regular season, we all know how the colts d is but  can u trust the jets d to show up!!!To sum everything up I think the colts win this game and Sanchez fold s under the pressure and throws a couple picks by getting pressure from the 2 good dends of the colts d...might end the erra of rex ryan..

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: January 8, 2011 9:26 am

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

The reason why all the experts are picking the Colts to beat the Jets is probably because they know when push comes to shove, Peyton will pull this game out. The Jets' defense is kinda like their coach, big talk but when the time comes they arn't too impressive. I know that teams don't  throw to Reavis' side, but if you really watch him defend, his hands are usually all over the receiver which would be a penalty on every play. But, besides that this game should go as planned. Colts defense bends a little, they will hold the run game of the Jets in check and the Colts will provide just enough time for Peyton to pick apart their secondary. I think all the talk about revenge and all the hype has a lot to do with nothing. Colts would have beaten them twice last year and I can't see where the Jets have improved to the point to make a big difference in the outcome. Collie and Clarke are gone, but Peyton makes everyone around him better. Colts 21  Jets 14

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or