Jets get another shot at Colts

Updated: January 3, 2011, 2:34 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets will start their Super Bowl journey where last season's ended -- Indianapolis.

In a rematch of the AFC Championship Game, the sixth-seeded Jets (11-5) will meet the third-seeded Colts (10-6) at 8 p.m. on Saturday in a wild-card game at Lukas Oil Stadium.

"We have a chance to go back out there and get payback," tight end Dustin Keller said after the Jets' 38-7 win over the Buffalo Bills -- about three hours before their date in Indianapolis was confirmed with the Colts' last-second victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Dobbs You have to go into the lion's den, and you can't go in meekly. You have to go in and fight the lion ... You can't sneak your way through the playoffs.

-- Jets linebacker Bart Scott

This is poetic justice for the Jets, who went into Indianapolis last January as a huge underdog and took a lead into the second half before falling to Peyton Manning & Co., 30-17. Manning passed for 377 yards and three touchdowns.

One year later, the Jets get a chance to replay the final 30 minutes.

"I know one thing: We're going to give them everything we have," said head coach Rex Ryan, assuming he'd be facing the Colts. "I feel confident in our football team. I'm excited to get dialed in. Let's see what happens. We're going to have terrific game plans, there's no question about it. If we go out and play New York Jets-style of football, we'll be just fine."

Manning is Ryan's nemesis. Against Ryan-influenced defenses, Manning has a career mark of 6-1, and that doesn't include The Curtis Painter Game last season in Week 16. In that game, Manning was pulled with a 15-10 lead, as Colts coach Jim Caldwell -- abandoning the chance of an undefeated season -- rested his starters for the playoffs.

Not counting the Painter game, Manning has passed for 897 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games -- all wins -- against Ryan-coached defenses. The first two occurred when Ryan was the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator.

The Jets used the loss in the AFC title game as the basis for their off-season game plan, trading for cornerback Antonio Cromartie, drafting cornerback Kyle Wilson in the first round and signing pass rusher Jason Taylor and safety Brodney Pool. It was all done to beat Manning.

To reach the Super Bowl, the Jets will have to defeat Manning and Tom Brady's New England Patriots in successive weeks, two enormous road blocks. The top-seeded Patriots, who routed the Jets last month, 45-3, are looming in the divisional round.

"You have to go into the lion's den, and you can't go in meekly," linebacker Bart Scott said. "You have to go in and fight the lion ... You can't sneak your way through the playoffs."

This isn't the same Indianapolis team from a year ago. The Colts suffered their worst season since 2002, with Manning feeling the effects of an injury-depleted supporting cast. Manning finished with a 91.4 passer rating and 17 interceptions -- his worst numbers since 2002.

Now the Jets get another crack at him.

"It's fitting," linebacker Calvin Pace said. "It's crazy how things work out."

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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