This rivalry has become "personal" according to Jets head coach Rex Ryan. The Colts beat the Jets in last year's AFC Championship game, and the Jets are looking for revenge.
This is the Jets best shot at redemption, since the Colts have had too many injuries. They have seen Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, Bob Sanders, Anthony Gonzalez and others go down with significant injuries that have ended their seasons.
The Jets have to capitalize here and run the ball down their throats.
The Colts have had their problems stopping the run all year, but lately they have held opponents to an average of 79.8 rushing yards per game in their last four games. If the Jets are going to win, they have to also have balance and use the play-action that has worked all season.
The Jets have advantages at the wide-receiver position and at running-back. With the one-two punch of Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson, the Jets will be able to run the ball.
They need Mark Sanchez at his best and not to turn the ball over. (He has six turnovers in the last five games.) They will need Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller to have big games for them to advance.
The Colts must be able to run the ball to have a chance in this game. When the Colts haven't been able to run the ball, Manning has turned the ball over more and more. He has 17 interceptions, but has 33 touchdowns.
Manning has torched Rex Ryan defenses in the past and is 5-1 against him, with the only loss coming in Week 16 last year, when the Colts pulled their starters. Look for Manning to avoid Darrelle Revis, who will probably be shadowing Reggie Wayne.
Manning should have another solid game against Ryan. He will look to tight end Jacob Tamme and slot wide-receiver Blair White, if Wayne and Pierre Garcon are covered well.
The Jets defense isn't even close to as good as last year, even though they do rank third overall in total defense. They don't rush the passer well this year and haven't forced a lot of turnovers.
Prediction: Colts 21, Jets 17