NFL Wildcard Preview: Indianapolis Colts vs New York Jets

Written by Michael Lambarde on Jan. 08, 2011

The Colts have headed to the play-offs for the ninth consecutive time and look to go further than just Saturday s game vs. the New York Jets, a team they faced in the AFC championship and defeated last year.

An injury riddled season has challenged the grit and talent of Indianapolis’ young wide receiver core. Needing to win its final four games to win the AFC South title, Manning and his rotating offensive weapons came to play and clenched their playoff berth. Now it’s on to the Jets.

Blair White and Jacob Tamme have stepped up tremendously since the loss of tight end Dallas Clark, who had season ending wrist injury. The Colts felt a loss in the running game with the loss of Joseph Addai for quite a few games this season. Michigan Alum Mike Hart has attempted to fill the gap, and now the return of Joseph Addai as well as an addition to the roster, former running back Dominic Rhodes, gives the Colts another weapon.

Keys to victory

A very young and unpredictable Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets must feel the heat often and early. Indianapolis’ defense must roll up their boot straps, blitz often and force Sanchez to throw on the run and make plays with his feet. Cornerback Antoine Bethea must have his eye on Santonio Holmes who has been Sanchez’ go to guy in times of trouble. The Colts surprising and impressive rush defense must continue to emerge in order to contain the Jets Ladainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene.

Manning must spread the ball around both running the ball and passing to keep the Jet’s defense honest and on their toes.

Will it be a repeat of last year’s play-off match-up between the Colts and Jets? Or will Rex Ryan get his revenge against the resilient and gutty Colts?

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