Yesterday I gave you the lowdown on what the Colts need to do to beat the Jets...and if they do, incidentally, they should win this game quite handily.
But they won't. No score today - tomorrow I'll give you the final score.
Today I'll tell you what the Jets need to do to win this game.
(I keep forgetting to publish this picture, courtesy of my brother, of the Empire State Building in Jets colors. Love it.)
Yesterday I mentioned that the Colts need to get out on top early. That's so the Jets can't catch up...not so that the Jets give up. The Jets need to get up early on the Colts in order to make Indy doubt themselves. Once the Colts feel a bit of doubt, it'll be all over. They're already the team that has had a ton of regular season success but hasn't won more than one Super Bowl. They're also the team that is supposed to win this game. The Jets jumping out to a lead in their building will just about clinch the AFC Championship, because the Colts won't feel like they can. (Disregard the fact that the time the Colts made it to the Super Bowl they overcame a 20+-point deficit. That was an abberation.)
It will also help to put immense pressure on Peyton Manning, and the Jets can do it. It's just not a situation Manning is used to, and it will take away those small passes for big yardage that the Jets have been susceptible to. That's what happened to Philip Rivers last week - he couldn't get anything going because of the Jets defense.
The Jets need a healthy dose of Shonn Greene. Again, not sure what's up with Thomas Jones, but Greene and the O-line need to keep plugging away and gaining yardage, waiting for that big one to break. Dustin Keller has been reliable underneath, and Jerricho Cotchery has put together a pretty solid post-season. Everyone needs another mistake-free game on offense.
The Jets need to continue winning the field position battle, and special teams will be key with that. Manning and the Colts don't need half a field to start their drives - pin them deep and good things will happen for the Jets. It worked last week against San Diego, and it will work this week. It also wouldn't hurt for Brad Smith to take another kickoff to the house.
You know what would really be awesome, and take the whole NFL by surprise? First play from scrimmage for the Jets, a bomb to Braylon Edwards. The Jets have pulled that play out every so often, and a couple of times this season it has hit for big yardage...a couple of times Edwards has dropped the ball. Rarely does Mark Sanchez miss him or throw an interception. I think it's worth a shot right out of the gate, maybe get a quick 7. I know, if successful, it would put Manning right back onto the field, but I think that's worth the price of the touchdown bomb early in the game. I would love to see it.
If all goes as planned above, the Jets win 14-0. But that's not my real prediction. That will come tomorrow.