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2011 NFL Playoff Schedule: New York Jets Vs. Indianapolis Colts Game Preview

In a rematch of last season's AFC title game, the 10-6 Indianapolis Colts host the 11-5 New York Jets. The Jets are ninth in my rankings with a 425.8 rating while the Indianapolis Colts are 10th with a 398.8 rating. I have the Jets as the last team in the second tier and put the Colts as the top team in the third tier. Needless to say, I think this game will be very close.

The Jets and Colts have met in the playoffs three times in their franchise history, twice since 2003. Their first meeting, you may recall, was Super Bowl III and Joe Namath guaranteed his way to a victory over the then-Baltimore Colts. Thirty-four years later in 2003, Peyton Manning threw two picks and Chad Pennington led the Jets to a 41-0 rout, giving Manning the worst loss of his career. In the AFC Championship game last season, the Colts trailed 17-6 in the second quarter before three Manning touchdown passes put the game out of reach and put the Colts in the Super Bowl with a 30-17 win.

What will be the result this time around? Let's dive in.

Jets Analysis

The Jets biggest wins this season came against the New England Patriots (Week 2) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 15) but those were their only wins against teams with a winning record all season, tied for second-fewest among playoff teams. However, of their five losses, only one could be considered a bad loss. In Week 14 against the Miami Dolphins, the Jets were beaten 10-6 at home. After starting 9-2, the Jets are only 2-3 in their last five games but are 6-2 in road games this season which is good, since that's where they'll be playing.

Colts Analysis

The Colts beat the Giants and Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of the year but then spent the rest of it playing only three teams with winning records, going 0-3 in those contests. A streaky team lately, the Colts lost three in a row before winning their last four and getting into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed. The Colts are 6-2 at home with their only losses coming during the three-game Manning meltdown in leate November and early December.  The one bad loss on the Colts resume is an overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13.

The Pick

The Jets have been the stronger team all season - despite their end of year lull - and I like them to beat the Colts in a close game.

Jets 23, Colts 21

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.