Quick Reaction: Jets 17, Colts 16

Justin Tryon with an interception... what a great pickup this year by Polian!

Highlights:

  • I never expected the game to be the defensive battle that it turned out to be, but I did expect the outcome that resulted.
  • While I think Caldwell did a nice job keeping the team focused throughout the season, he made some terrible coaching decisions in this one.
  • Pierre Garcon had one great game, atoning for many bad games in my opinion.
  • The 2010 season has been an incredible season, made even more incredible by the fact that they made it to the playoffs at all.  If they had even survived the game, I don’t think they could have challenged the Steelers.

More details:

  • Silly challenge by Caldwell after the punt, but we’ve always wanted him to be more aggressive.  I guess there’s that.
  • First two series end with third-and-short and terrible short passes that result in lost yardage.  What is Manning seeing or not seeing?
  • McAfee’s first two punts were short. Nate Dunlevy thought it was intentional, but McAfee hasn’t been right for weeks… wonder if he’s hurting.
  • On the Jets’ second series, Sanchez misses an easy slant to Santonio Holmes, who had Lacey beat to the inside and probably on his way for six.  Whew.
  • Manning quick snaps to catch 12 men on the field on defense – I gotta know how many of those he has versus all other QBs.
  • The Colts are landing pressure early on the Jets… not like the last few games of the season where it took a while for the defensive line to get to the QB.
  • The Colts started to produce on the fourth series, but didn’t play it like 4-down territory at the Jets’ 40 and whipped out that cursed bubble screen for a gain of one.  Fourth punt of the game.
  • Early on the fifth drive, the Colts broke out an oldie but goodie… a stretch play with Addai, but Addai was hit hard and went out for the rest of the series.
  • Finally on that drive, the Colts were able to take advantage of the play-action on a beautiful pass to Garcon and a 57-yard touchdown.  The touchdown was reminiscent of the bomb to Collie in last year’s AFCCG.
  • With the Jets driving on their next possession and almost certain to score at least a FG, Sanchez threw three straight high passes, the third into the hands of Justin Tryon, who returned it 23 yards.
  • The Colts decided to play it safe at that point.  I remember a time when the Colts would go for the jugular, but with 45 seconds and 2 timeouts in their pocket, they handed off to Rhodes to see if he could do anything… and were content to go to the half up 7-0.
  • Coming out of the half, the Jets got a great return on what looked to me like a formation perilously close to an illegal wedge.  They then drove the rest of the way mostly on the legs of Greene and Tomlinson for the game-tying touchdown.
  • The Colts answered with a drive that stalled on yet another failed third-and-short, still cashing in on a Vinatieri 47-yard field goal. Colts 10, Jets 7.
  • The Jets answered with another drive primarily on the ground, chewing up almost ten minutes on the clock and punching in on another Tomlinson TD. Jets 14, Colts 10.
  • On the next drive, the Colts converted some great plays, chewed up sufficient time to give the D a rest… then faced with fourth-and-six from the 14, decided to kick a FG instead of going for it.  Jets 14, Colts 13.
  • And then the unthinkable happened.  The Colts stopped the Jets on third-and-five on a dropped pass by Santonio Holmes (payback in my opinion for the fact that his second toe was never down in that Super Bowl, but that’s another story).  On the punt, Taj Smith was called for running into the punter… first down Jets.
  • Thankfully for the Colts, Sanchez and the Jets went for the kill shot on the next set of downs.  Even though Braylon Edwards had Jacob Lacey beat by a mile, Sanchez once again overthrew the ball and the Jets punted back to the Colts.
  • With 2:36 on the clock, and one timeout left, Peyton went to work.  He got to within Vinatieri FG range, which apparently was 50 yards.  Colts 16, Jets 14.
  • And then we learned why they call them “special teams”.  Antonio Cromartie returned the ball to the Jets 46-yard line.  A few plays later, Lacey showed why he is not a starting CB, when he was burned by an 18-yard pass to Braylon Edwards.  Folk added the three for the final. Jets 17, Colts 16.
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