Jan 24

AFC Title Game Preview

Posted By:Michael Flecha - East Providence, RI  Tags:

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Photo: AFC

Yesterday I did a preview of the NFC Championship game and I went with the New Orleans Saints, and now here is my preview of the AFC Championship game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts.

Let's start with the New York Jets. Now it's been a long time since the Jets have been in the AFC championship game since they lost to the Denver Broncos in 1998. Now the Jets have a new Head Coach Rex Ryan and drafting rookie Quarterback Mark Sanchez. It was an interesting thing that has happened but now a really strong Defense that is considered THE best in the NFL right now and a great running game with Thomas Jones. Plus the Jets upset win over San Diego Chargers last week. Many thought that the Chargers were going to the Super Bowl. Could it be time for the team that last won a Super Bowl now more then 40 years ago? This would be their second time to the big game with a win over Indy.

As for the Colts. There are many things we can talk about with the Colts. It all starts with the Legaue MVP Payton Manning and yet another strong year - 4500 yards passing and 33 touchdowns. With a recivering core lead by Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark plus breakout stars pierre garrcon and austin Collie (And a defense with the two most feared players Robert Martis and Dwight Freeney). This is the same Colts team that just won the Super Bowl just 3 years ago. They are better then ever and it's looking like yet another championship might be in their future.

Here is the breakdown. Mikey's mindset to victory.

For Indy:
Peyton has to beat the D: Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in the game right now. He had some reasonable success in the first match up (14/21 for 192 yards). Yet no touchdowns or No INTS. Peyton will have to put up better numbers then that.

Run baby run: The running game has been a weakness for INDY for the Longest time. Joseph Addai has to show up more then ever. Cause the Jets will want to force Peyton to pass all the time. Indy needs to have a balance and make the big running plays. Even getting five yards would be good enough. But the number one in Defense will be quite a challenge.

Home Field: THe 12th man needs to be jacked up for this one. This is one of the loudest stadiums, plus you have the roof closed on Sunday afternoon so the noise will be loud. They need to be a loud as can be for Indy to win. Trust me I have been to football stadiums and I know crowd noise.

D needs to step it up: Now you know what i am going to say here. Martis and Freeney need to be BEAST on sunday. Blitz shut down the running game and make the Jets beat you through the air.

Keys for a Jets win.

1. Run the ball: This was one thing they did great in the first meeting that got them the victory and it will be the key again on sunday. Running the football with your work horse Thomas Jones. He ran for 105 yards and a TD in game 1.  He will have to pretty much do about the same in this meeting.

2. D has to step up again: Alright well you know this. You have the best D in the game right now. You showed it last week against SD who was the hottest team in the AFC. Now you have to prove it again against the top dog in the AFC. You need to get pressure on Peyton and make him throw some picks. Shut down the Running game.

3. Just keep it close: This one is just simple. You are considered the underdog going into the game. Like every game you want to keep it close enough to pull off yet another upset. You might want to check the score after three quarters - If it's tied or Indy is leading by either 3 or 7 points going to the fourth then there is a good chance we might have an upset on our hands.

4. Taking the crowd out of the game: You will want to start out fast and take an early lead to take the crowd out of the game. With it being a dome field noise will be a factor. False starts might happen in a place like this. So you will have to deal with the damage. but a few big strikes will turn this game upside down and who knows what happens next.

Mikey's mindset: With everything that I just said, now let's get to the heart of the matter with who wins. Alright this is going to be a tough call. Like the NFC championshp this is going to be a great showdown.

Quarterbacks advantage Colts
Running Backs Advantage Jets
Wide Receivers and TE Advantage Colts
Offense Advantage Coltls
Defense Advantage Jets.

I just feel that Indy is going to win the AFC Title. They have the big game experience plus with it being so close the first time around before the Colts took out their big players in week 16. I have a feeling that the Colts will bring a better D to the game. So that will force the Jets to win through the air but with a Rookie QB in the biggest game of his career. I feel that the Colts D will step up big and this will be a win.

Colts 24
Jets 14

Which would mean that the Colts and the Saints will meet each other on Feb 7 in the Super Bowl in Miami.

Alright that's it, now watch the game on Sunday. The Colts and Jets at 3:00 PM on the Mothership and my favorite NFL coverage home of this year's Super Bowl CBS, and the Vikings and Saints at 6:30 PM on FOX.

Come back here on Sunday Night for my AFC and NFC championship recap. As always you know the routine Hugs and Handpounds.... I'm Out.

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