The Jets beat the Colts by 14 points when the teams played in December, but as they prepare for their AFC Championship Game rematch, the Colts are favored by seven. The reason, of course, is that the Colts pulled Peyton Manning midway through the third quarter in the teams’ previous meeting.
But the Jets think they deserve credit for, if not for beating a Curtis Painter-led Colts team, at least playing competitively with the Colts while Manning and the other top players were on the field.
“We were holding our own,” Jets linebacker Bart Scott said of the Jets’ performance against the Manning-led Colts.
Manning played well against the Jets, completing 14 of 21 passes for 192 yards with no interceptions, and the Colts led 15-10 when Painter took the field for the first time. But other players on the Jets agreed with Scott today in saying the game could have gone either way if Manning had stayed in.
“I think it was about 50-50,” Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis said. “It was going back-and-forth.”
Ultimately, the Jets sound most excited about getting the opportunity to prove themselves against a Colts team that’s playing hard for four quarters.
“Everyone said Peyton didn’t play the whole game,” offensive tackle Damien Woody said. “But it was a competitive game, and now there are no excuses. Nothing can be said because everybody will have their top guns out there playing.”