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Sunday, January 24, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Colts 30, Jets 17

By Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- The mission isn’t a Super Bowl appearance, it’s a Super Bowl win.

Still, with two weeks before the league’s season-ending spectacle, the Colts are lifting the AFC championship trophy and should be taking a great deal of pride in it. Set aside your feelings if you were bitter about how they decided to play Weeks 16 and 17. They are 16-0 this season when they’ve tried to win.

Despite a shaky first half where the Jets seized some control, the methodical, precise and passionate Colts recovered and rolled -- 30-17 in the AFC Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

With a 377-yard passing game, Peyton Manning became the league’s all-time leader in 300-yard playoff games, with seven. Kurt Warner and Joe Montana each have six.

The Jets hit two big home run plays, an 80-yard Mark Sanchez-to-Braylon Edwards touchdown and a 45-yard Brad Smith-to-Jerricho Cotchery Wildcat play that set up another seven points.

But the Colts were able to withstand the atypical big plays surrendered and answer with plenty of their own.

The mighty Jets defense gave up 100-yard games to receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie, and the mighty Jets running game pieced together 86 yards, 15 less than their hosts who have a rep for not being able to run it at all.

Now we wait to see what storyline the Colts get for the Super Bowl: Manning versus Brett Favre, with a second Super Bowl title added to one of their legacies, or Manning against his hometown Saints, the team his dad starred for.