The Indianapolis Colts may be 2.5-point favorites this week and a more popular pick to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs than the New York Jets, yet that doesn't mean they are a better football team. As a matter of fact, they aren't. Don't be shy about saying it this week, "The Jets are better than the Colts and they should beat them."
This isn't last year when the Colts could have went 16-0 and chose to pass on that opportunity. This is a 10-6 team who won the worst division football not named the NFC West. People love to diminish the Jets 11-5 by record by saying they beat one playoff team. Guess how many playoff teams the Colts beat this year? One. They beat the Chiefs way back on Oct. 10th, 19-9.
Beyond that, they scraped their way by a collection of mediocre teams to win the AFC South. I am sorry if their four-game winning streak doesn't impress me when two of the wins came against the Tennessee Titans, who gave up somewhere around mid-October and lost eight of their last n.ine
This isn't last year's Colts and this isn't last year's Jets.
How much have you heard this week about how the Jets pass rush has been awful this year and won't be able to touch Peyton Manning, along with how Mark Sanchez better watch out because the Colts pass rush is coming after him? I know all about Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. I also know the Jets had 40 sacks this season compared to the Colts 30. Finally, I just saw what the Jets offensive line did to the Steelers and Bears pass rush, without starting tackle Damien Woody who will be back in the line-up Saturday night.
No Dallas Clark and Austin Collie ... that matters, a ton. Antonio Cromartie covering Pierre Garcon instead of Lito Sheppard or Dwight Lowery ... that also matters, a ton. The Colts not having a rusher who could even crack 500 yards? Sorry, you can't gloss over that when discussing this game. We haven't even got to mentioning Santonio Holmes yet, who wasn't around when these two teams met last season.
More than a few times this week, I have seen people write Sanchez hasn't progressed this year. He didn't hit a sophomore slump but he didn't progress. Really? I am pretty sure throwing five more touchdowns, seven less interceptions, and totaling 800 more yards is progress. Sanchez is miles ahead of where he was when played the Colts last January and he played pretty damn well in that game.
Don't be shy about saying it, you should feel confident about the Jets winning this game. The Colts have the best player. The Jets have the better team.