NEW YORK JETS (11-5) at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-6)
(Saturday, NBC, 8:00 PM ET)
It will be a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game when the Jets visit the Colts on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. New York will look to avenge the Colts’ 30-17 victory that sent Indianapolis to Super Bowl XLIV a year ago.
“It’s an opportunity to get back at them,” says Jets tight end DUSTIN KELLER, who led the club with 55 catches. “We owe them one. They got us last year.”
New York quarterback MARK SANCHEZ, who is the second youngest Jet to pass for 3,000 yards (Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE NAMATH), has guided his team to the postseason for the second consecutive year. Last year, he became only the second rookie QB to start and win two playoff games (JOE FLACCO).
“We are not going to Indianapolis to lose, we are going there to win,” says Jets head coach REX RYAN. “That’s our mentality and always will be. I believe in our football team. I know that’s an excellent football team we’re going to play but they’re getting our best shot. This will be a great game and as long as the Jets win, I’ll sign up for it.”
The Colts, the defending AFC champions, return to the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season, tying the Dallas Cowboys (1975-83) for the most postseason appearances in a row.
“You’ve got to earn your right to play in the playoffs,” says Indianapolis head coach JIM CALDWELL. “This is what you work for. It’s the beginning of the second season. Now you feel everything kind of kicks up a notch or two.”
Colts Pro Bowl quarterback PEYTON MANNING set a league record with 450 completions and passed for 4,700 yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN FOUTS (1980-81) and WARREN MOON (1990-91) as the only players in NFL history to have consecutive seasons with at least 4,500 passing yards.