The Saturday night game will prove to be an exciting one for both team’s fans – Mark Sanchez and the Jets have their work cut out for them, with the Colts holding the best regular-season record since 1999.
Tickets for the game at Lucas Oil Stadium are averaging $238, well above the Colts regular season average ticket price at home of $172.
For more insight on what both the Jets and Colts need to do to achieve success and advance to divisional playoffs, check out the guest commentary below from two devoted fans, and bloggers.
1. Put pressure on Mark Sanchez Contrary to popular belief, stopping the run is not the toughest thing for the Colts to do. Thanks to an injury ravaged secondary, the Colts have struggled defending the passing game and that has been the weak link in the defensive game. When the Colts get pressure on the QB from the front four, their below average secondary has a chance to make plays. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis must come up huge for the Colts as they have so many times before and put pressure on Sanchez.
2. Avoid a Special Teams Breakdown Indy features one of the worst overall special teams units in the NFL. Their coverage of on punts and kickoffs is suspect at best and they’ve allowed two returns for a touchdown over the last three weeks. The Jets have a top flight return game and will need to shorten the field in order to generate cheap points. If the Indianapolis Colts can play the Jets to a draw on special teams, they have a good chance to win the game.
3. Catch the Football The Colts lead the NFL in dropped passes, putting 8 on the turf in week 17 alone. Over the course of the season, Peyton Manning has dealt with a lot of injuries to his offensive crew and have gone deep into their reserves to put 11 men on the field. But, veterans Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon have been among the worst offenders when it comes to dropping passes, both ranking in the top 5 in the NFL in dropped passes. The Colts will struggle to run the ball against the Jets, and they can’t afford to waste precious downs.
The New York Jets Keys to Victory Over the Colts
Guest commentary by Daniel Krieg of Rex Sanchez.
1. Put the pressure on Peyton Manning This is the most obvious key on the list. The reason the Jets jumped out to a 17-6 lead last year in Indy and the reason they beat the Patriots in Week Two of this season was because they pressured the quarterback. If you give Manning too much time he will complete, or at least be on target with every pass he throws. He can make a junior high school receiving corps look like Pro Bowlers. My hope is that although last week’s game meant zilch in the grand scheme of things, the strong performances by Jason Taylor, Calvin Pace, and yes, Jamaal Westerman will carry over into the playoffs. Taylor and Pace are the obvious candidates to sack Manning, but keep an eye out for the second-year player from Rutgers. If Westerman sees action, Buddy Crutchfield says he will sack the quarterback. Ya heard it here first.
2. Lock Brian Schottenheimer in the Locker Room If you’ve read Rex Sanchez throughout the season, you know the disdain we have for the Jets offensive coordinator. And based on your reaction to our hatred for him, you agree he is a detriment to the team. It’s a shame, really, as if LT were not on the roster Schotty would likely be smart enough to pound the rock with Shonn Greene (like he did last year in the playoffs). Alas, establishing LT remains the Jets top offensive priority entering the postseason. If LT really came here to win a Super Bowl, he would tell Schotty to let Greene take the Jets to the Holy Land.
3. Do NOT Trust Nick Folk. It really is a miracle there was not a “Nick Folk Game” this season. You could argue he crushed the team’s momentum in the Packers game and maybe even the Patriots game (that was Rex’s fault), but Nick Folk will make his mark on the 2010 Jets before the season ends. Let’s just pray he shanks his 20-yard field goal in a tied game Saturday night, not with the Jets trailing.
4. Rex Sanchez No, not Rexsanchez.com although we do wield a great deal of influence over the outcome of Saturday night’s game, but not as much as the site’s namesakes, Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez. For the Jets to win Saturday (and beyond), the Jets head coach and quarterback will have to be on their games. For Rex, that means not wasting challenges on early, meaningless plays, not asking Folk to kick a 50+ yard field goals when punting is clearly the better option, and of course vetoing as many of Schotty’s play calls as he can. For Sanchez, it means he has to audible to a pass play at least once (he has still yet to do that in his career), throwing the ball away when Freeney and/or Mathis are chasing him down, and maintaining that late-fourth quarter moxie. Based on how this season has gone, I have a feeling the Jets may need a score at about 11:12 p.m. on Saturday.
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