As always, ESPN Stats & Info has provided us with special insight into a big game.
Here are some nuggets from the Jets win over the Colts.
The Jets held back: The Jets are a blitzing team, but Rex Ryan sensibly steered away from a philosophy that rarely works against Peyton Manning Saturday night.
In last season’s AFC Championship Game, the Jets sent five or more defenders at Manning 63.4 percent of the time and he completed 16 of 24 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns against it. This time around the Jets used five or more rushers only 14.8 percent of the time.
When the Colts needed 10 yards: Manning boasted a league-high 66.3 completion percentage and 139 passing first downs when the offense needed less than 10 yards to move the chains this season. The Jets buckled down in those situations Saturday night, highlighted by allowing Manning to convert 1-of-4 third-and-6 or shorter attempts through the air.
Manning had a passer rating of 143.9 on 13 throws in which the Colts needed 10 yards or more, and a rating of 70.1 on 13 throws where they needed between 1 and 9 yards.
Manning steered inside: Manning did not target Reggie Wayne outside the numbers. In the regular season, Wayne was the fifth-most targeted receiver outside the numbers. Overall, he finished with one catch for 1 yard matched up against Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Manning’s numbers outside the numbers were down 12.4 in completion percentage (he was 4-for-9, all on the right sideline), three yards per attempt and 32.9 points in passer rating from the numbers he posted in the regular season.
Sanchez struggled with long throws: The Colts’ pass defense had allowed completions on half of opponents’ throws of 10 or more yards this season -- 68-for-136, 26th in NFL. But Indianapolis was a difficult matchup for Mark Sanchez in such circumstances. He completed only 22.2 percent of such passes for 4.7 yards an attempt, had one interception and no touchdowns and posted a passer rating of 6.9.
Frankly, Sanchez was high and wild in the first half. That accounted for these numbers as much as what the Colts were doing.