Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

With Manning at the helm, the Colts will take home another title

Article by: Matt West

Photo property of ytoyoda/WikiCommons

After the Jets backed into the playoffs and instantly became favorites with their number-one rated defense and running game, critics everywhere became enamored with their self-assured coach and old-school style of play. Rex Ryan made us all believe that a good defense and a well-rounded running game will indeed win in January and February. However, just when we started to accept this philosophy, Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts showed up and once again showed us why they continue to win each year.

Just like in 2006 when they stunned the Patriots in the AFC Championship, they could not run the ball and were historically bad against it defensively. Many people figured the Jets could stymie Manning and control the clock with their running back duo of Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene. In the first half of Sunday’s game it looked as if Ryan’s vaunted defense could indeed win a close game, leading at the half, 17-14. And just like in 2006, Peyton led the Colts down the field to end the half, swinging the momentum in the Colts’ direction while showing everyone why he is one of the best to ever play the game.

Finishing with 377 passing yards and three touchdowns, Manning relied on the likes of Pierre Garcon (eleven catches, 151 yards) and Austin Collie (seven catches, 123 yards) to make a great Jet defense look vulnerable. Reggie Wayne, Manning’s favorite target and incumbent Pro Bowler, was rendered somewhat invisible, catching only three balls for 55 yards. Darelle Revis, widely considered the best cornerback in football, did his best to stop Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark. Even though this offense wasn’t as dominant as in years past, they are very efficient and score nearly every time they get into the red zone. By doing what they have done well consistently all year, they stopped Mark Sanchez and the Jets cold in the second half and methodically moved the ball to score when they absolutely needed to.

Now, with a trip to Miami firmly in their grasp, the Colts look as though they cannot be beat. Their defense, never known to be great in any one facet, is filled with speed and athleticism and will match up well against the New Orleans Saints’ high-powered offense. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis will need to get pressure on Drew Brees to force some errant throws, but even then he is known to score at will.

Additionally, the Colts secondary will have a lot more on their plate come Super Sunday with the Saints and their number-one ranked offense, which averaged 38 points per game. Against the Jets, the Colts knew they had to stop the run and prevent either Braylon Edwards or Jerricho Cotchery from breaking loose downfield. Brees has a plethora of weapons with which to work, from running backs Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush to wideouts Marcus Colston and Devery Henderson.

Ultimately this game boils down to Peyton Manning and his ability to single-handedly control a game. Earlier this season in a September game against the Miami Dolphins, Manning and the Colts won an extremely close game, 27-23. The storyline, however, was how well the Dolphins controlled the clock, yet still could not win. The Colts only had the ball for 14:53, the lowest time of possession to win a game since the late 1970’s.

What we have come to learn with Manning is that great players can carry teams to the Promised Land. Brady did it at the beginning of the decade, and now, we are seeing just how good he is, no matter who makes up his surrounding cast. The Saints are the feel good story, but Peyton is on a mission, and his Colts look unbeatable.

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With Manning at the helm, the Colts will take home another title