Saturday, January 8, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Jets 17, Colts 16
By Tim Graham
INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Jets defeated the Indianapolis Colts 17-16 in Lucas Oil Stadium.
What it means: Even though Mark Sanchez had a lackluster night, the Jets found a way to knock off Peyton Manning with a thrilling victory. Rex Ryan's Jets improved their road playoff record to 3-1 and avenged last season's loss to the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
Hero: Nick Folk kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired to pull off the upset and send Colts fans silently filing toward the exits.
Near Hero: Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri almost won the game on a 50-yard field goal with less than a minute to play. The kick was his longest of the season.
Hero II: Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson looked like he did when he was an early season MVP candidate. He had his biggest game in three months. Tomlinson ran 16 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with about 10 minutes to play.
All is forgiven: The Jets trailed 7-0 at halftime but should have had at least a field goal right before the break. The Jets made it to the Colts' 19-yard line. On a third-and-10 play, Sanchez had too much time to think and forced a ball to Dustin Keller near the goal line. Colts defensive back Justin Tyron intercepted.
Costly play: One play after Jets receiver Santonio Holmes had a costly third-down drop, Colts special-teams ace Taj Smith was flagged for running into punter Steve Weatherford on fourth-and-5 with 3:02 to play. First down, Jets. Colts had to start calling their timeouts on the next set of downs.
If on third you don't succeed: The Jets were phenomenal on third downs almost all night, limiting the Colts to three-and-out series on their first three possessions. But the Colts converted a third-and-7 and a third-and-8 on their first field-goal drive of the fourth quarter.
What's next: The Jets advanced to the divisional round and will play the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium. The Jets defeated the Patriots 28-14 at the Meadowlands in Week 2, but the Patriots administered a 45-3 beating five weeks ago in Foxborough.