Tuesday Moring Running Back Divisional Playoffs: New York Jets Continue To Soar

Dan PieroniCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2010

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17:  Cornerback Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets celebrates after a missed field goal by Nate Kaeding #10 of the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Jets defeated the Chargers 17-14.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

I knew I couldn't trust Norv Turner.

Or Phillip Rivers for the matter.

Whoever said that defense wins championships was certainly right.

Without their stifling defense and powerful running game, the Jets would be left to ponder their future much like NBC is pondering the future of its late night lineup.

Instead, this Cinderella story, with a rookie quarterback, rookie head coach,and rookie running back, is heading to Indianapolis next Sunday to compete for the AFC Championship.

How did they do it?

Well, for one thing, Rex Ryan should be credited with never wavering from his game plan by putting extra pressure on the Chargers offense and mixing up his coverages to force the Chargers to make mistakes.

The game plan manifested itself in the second half, when the Jets were able to obtain two key Rivers Interceptions and sack him twice.

They were also able to keep themselves in the game by forcing Charger errors such the aforementioned picks, as well as three missed field goals by Nate Kaeding.

On offense, The Jets rode the strong running of Shonn Greene to the tune of 23 carries for 128 yards and an important 53-yard score in the fourth quarter, that put the Jets up by 10.

But most importantly, the Jets did it because they're are not afraid to come at opponents by doing things their way.

That was no more evident than Thomas Jones' two-yard run on fourth down from their own 29 with under two minutes left.

That was the play that iced the game.

The bottom line is that shouldn't sell the Jets effort short by saying they got lucky.

If they proved that they can stop a potent offense once, who's to say they can't do it again?

I still think Peyton Manning is too good and too experienced for the Jets to hang with, but I do expect this game to be very close and down to the wire.

After all, the Jets are fearless and they won't change a thing for Mr. Manning.

Idle thoughts on the other divisional playoff games:

  • Dennis Dillon's piece in Sunday's Sporting News Today perfectly sums up the greatness of Peyton Manning. Most quarterbacks would be content to to take a field goal with seven seconds left. Facing a 3rd-and-goal from the seven. not Manning, He proved it with a touchdown toss to Reggie Wayne to end the first half.
  • Another thing to admire about Manning is that he hates it when he trails. The sour look on his face when the Ravens got a field goal on their opening drive meant that this was not going to last long. Not surprisingly, the Colts were up 17-3 at the half.
  • You got to feel for the Ravens brilliant safety Ed Reed. He intercepts Manning, only to not protect the ball and get stripped by Pierre Garcon. Then, he has another pick nullified by a penalty on teammate Corey Ivy.
  • The Colts defense doesn't get a lot of credit because they are overshadowed by the exploits of Manning. However, kudos to them for shutting down the Ravens running attack though.
  • On Saturday, before the Cardinals vs. Saints game, close friend and fellow Bleacher Creature Ben Krantz left me a voice mail proclaiming Kurt Warner will be the Super Bowl MVP. So much for that theory.
  • While it's true that Saints benefited from the extra week of rest, they also benefited from a depleted Cardinal secondary.
  • How bad was the Cardinal defense this postseason? They allowed 90 points, the most ever surrendered by a team in consecutive playoff games.
  • Reggie Bush proved adds an element of quickness to the Saints offense which is hard to stop when he's at full strength.
  • I still think Marques Colston is underrated. He has the reach and the agility to get to any ball and is a match up nightmare for inexperienced defenders.
  • Memo to Kieth Brooking: This is the pros son. The only way you can keep an offense from running up the score is by stopping them, and you didn't. The Vikings are not going to sit their starters out of pity for your pathetic play.
  • Tony Romo is a talented quarterback when he's not being blitzed at will by an aggressive defense.
  • If Brett Favre wants me to believe that he came back to lead the Vikings to a championship, I can't help but wonder if the same thing would have happened if he stayed in New York.
  • Let it be said that it was Ray Edwards and not Jared Allen who sparked the Vikings defense with his three sacks.
  • There's no truth to the rumor that Jerry Rice was actually in Sidney Rice's jersey on Sunday.
  • This column would be longer, but Keith Brooking just accused me for padding it because I want all the football writing to myself. I better quit while I'm ahead.



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