The Jets have had a very up and down season, which has lead them to the record of 7 and 7. They are fighting for a wild card spot; it’s going to be an uphill battle the rest of the way for them. They have the undefeated Colts this week and in the final week of the season they have the Cincinnati Bengals. The Colts, on the other hand, have been perfect on season so far. They stand at 14 and 0 and atop the AFC with home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Jets ride with a rookie quarterback, who has had his share of rookie moments but also his share of great moments. He has been the main reason why the Jets have had won some games but also has been the biggest reason the Jets have lost; the first game against the bills in which he threw 5 interceptions is the one that stands out the most. Peyton Manning is the model for what every team wants their young quarterback to become. He is arguably the best signal caller of all time, and in my opinion he is the best player the NFL currently has to offer. When Peyton Manning is your quarterback you will always have a chance to win a game.
Both teams have rookie head coaches, Jim Caldwell for the Colts and Rex Ryan for the Jets. Caldwell is a pupil of the great Tong Dungy and coaches in similar way, but it also helps to walk into a coaching position where your team is a perennial powerhouse and you have one of the best players of all time on your side. Rex Ryan is considered one of the best defensive minds in the NFL and has brought that reputation to the Jets, as they have been ranked in the top five for defense throughout the year. Ryan, like his rookie quarterback, has made a few rookie coaching mistakes to. The most glaring came on the Monday night game against the Dolphins, when he did not feel he had to call timeouts at the end of the game when the Dolphins were driving and would eventually score the game winning touchdown. His reasoning was that he felt that his defense would stop the Dolphins; it’s good that he has confidence in the defense but it was sort of an arrogant call.
The Colts are chasing history, they want to get to 15 and 0 to inch one step closer to doing what the Patriots did in 2007, and the Jets are just fighting for their playoff lives trying to get to 8 and 7. The Colts are clearly the favorite to win this game but I would not right off the Jets. To beat Peyton Manning you must get him to have to move around, meaning you must get pressure on him. The Jets are a blitzing team so they have a solid chance in doing this; the biggest x factor for the Jets is going to be Mark Sanchez. Sanchez must avoid the big mistake but he can’t play hesitant. A big game by Sanchez will mean a Jets win; a big game would be Sanchez throwing for 200 yards, a touchdown and no turnovers. My prediction is Jets 28 and Colts 24, with the Jets making one big play on defense on the incredible Colts offense.