Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Hoge: Jets' defense has soft midsection
ESPN analysts Merrill Hoge and Trent Dilfer previewed Saturday's wild-card playoff games, including the New York Jets versus Indianapolis Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium.
We've already gotten Dilfer's take on how the Jets' offense can propel them to victory, but Hoge noted the Colts' offense can draw upon the blueprint they used last year to beat the Jets in the AFC title game.
"This is not the well-oiled machine that we're used to watching from the Indianapolis Colts, with Peyton Manning being able to orchestrate this flawless offense," Hoge said. "There's a lot of new parts here."
Indianapolis' personnel isn't as talented this time around. Tight end Dallas Clark and receivers Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez are on injured reserve.
Even so, Hoge insisted the X's and O's are there for the Colts to exploit.
"If you go back to that playoff game, the AFC Championship Game, they probably really exposed this Jets defense and went at it where you need to target," Hoge said. "They spread them out, and they attacked the middle of the field. They used tight ends and good wide receivers to attack linebackers and safeties.
"We have seen that all year long [against the Jets]. The Patriots did it to them. The Cincinnati Bengals did that to them. The Chicago Bears did that to them.
"I would expect the Colts to use those kinds of matchups again, focus on attacking in the middle of the field, and make those linebackers play, make those safeties play."