The game didn’t quite go as expected. A low scoring game that went down to the wire, allowed the team with the last possession to win. And that was the Jets.
Nick Folk connected from 32 yards out to send the Jets into the next round in New England.
It took nearly 10 minutes and four possessions before the Colts picked up their first 1st down. Indy was stopped on three consecutive 3rd & 1 situations.
The first quarter was rather boring with neither team scoring.
Bad challenge by Jim Caldwell on the Colts first punt.
The pressure was there from the outset. Rookie Kavell Conner, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis were impressive from the very beginning now allowing Sanchez to ever get comfortable.
Finally the Colts were able to put a score on the board as Peyton Manning (18-26, 225 yards, TD) picked on Antonio Cromartie, connecting with Pierre Garcon for a 57 yard touchdown. Manning took advantage of the an open Garcon cutting across the middle and Garcon finished it off in the end zone.
Just before the end of the first half, Sanchez’s pass in the end zone was intercepted by Justin Tryon ending the Jets’ best drive of the half. It was Tryon’s first interception as a Colt.
Mark Sanchez struggled all game. He overthrew open receivers multiple times.
Darrelle Revis did such a good job on Reggie Wayne, that it seemed like Wayne wasn’t even out there. One reception, one yard. A worthy investment for the Jets I’d say.
The Jets finally gained some momentum on their first opportunity of the second half. They dominated time of possession, the Colts only having the ball for 4:55 in the third quarter. LaDainian Tomlinson, an offseason acquisition ran it in from a yard out to tie it up at 7. LT’s TD ended the Jets’ longest time without points in a playoff game since 1982 AFC Championship Game at Miami, when they were shut out.
Indianapolis responded on the next drive with a couple big running plays. Surprise right? The drive stalled as the Jets stopped the Colts for the fourth time on a 3rd down & 1 situation. Mr. Clutch, Adam Vinatieri knocked in a field goal from 47 yards out to put the Colts up by 3.
The Jets then kept the ball out of Manning’s hand, taking 9 minutes and 54 seconds off the clock before Tomlinson scored his second touchdown.
Manning then picked apart Rex Ryan’s defense on the Colts first drive of the 4th quarter. The end result however isn’t what Caldwell was wanting, forced into a Vinatieri 37 yard field goal. The Colts weren’t successful all game running on 3rd and 1 but on 3rd & 7, Clyde Christensen thinks he can picked up the first down? Well it didn’t happen.
New York was set for a 3-and-out but Taj Smith ran into the punter, giving the Jets new life. The Colts stopped them on their next three plays.
Then it was time for Peyton to do what Peyton does best. 2:36 on the clock from his own 20 yard line, one timeout. Manning then proceed to methodically down the field.
The Colts then called on Adam Vinatieri for a 50 yard field. AV earned his money, improving to 5-5 on lead-changing FGs in last two minutes of games, an NFL record. But it wasn’t enough.
Rex Ryan finally defeated Peyton Manning in a game that mattered. He’s now 5-1 against 18.
It was amazing the Colts even made it to the playoffs. 18 players on injured reserve, many others down and out. They weren’t suppose to be in the playoffs, but somehow rallied off four straight regular season wins.
This one isn’t easy and has a sour taste. Many poor decisions down the stretch including play calling, penalties and timeouts.
Peyton Manning’s numbers have been staggering. But the one that stands out among the rest: 13 years in the league and just 1 Super Bowl. At 35 next year, his window is closing. Owner Jim Irsay will make it a priority in the offseason to resign his franchise quarterback.
Can somebody please go find Reggie Wayne on Revis Island?