Wild Card Playoffs: Colts vs. Jets 2011 Highlights

I still feel a twinge in my heart when I think about last night's game. It isn't as painful a blow as last year's Super Bowl loss, but it is what it is. The Jets beat the Colts by 1 point (one freakin' point!), kicking a last second field goal to win the game 17-16, officially ending the Colts' season.

If you missed the wild match-up, watch highlights from the game here:

Credit: 18pmc18, NFL Game Highlights

Peyton Manning and the blue horses tried their best, but they just couldn't keep within their razor thin margin of error. Number 18 was on his game last night, but unfortunately, the rest of the team came up short.

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My Moments from the Game:
  1. Still more injured players? - I knew from the injury reports that Ryan Diem and Antonio Johnson probably weren't going to play last night, but geez, the Colts just can't catch an injury break, even in the post-season!
  2. Santonio Holmes' shadow touches the ball - Coach Caldwell made a bad decision by challenging the ruling on the field for the punt because from the replays, it was obvious that Santonio Holmes did not touch the ball before it was scooped up by a Colts player. But still. What's up with reaching down to pretend to touch it and then not touching it? It reminds me of that fake fair catch wave by Mike Thomas in Week 15 against the Jaguars.  
  3. Patient Peyton instead of Pressing Peyton - People are going to say that Manning choked in the playoffs again. Yet anther one-and-done for the Colts. But last night, Manning played a good game. It was his team, and maybe even his coaches, that let him down, as has been the case in many of the Colts' playoff losses. Manning was patient and stuck with calls that weren't really working. The offense went on numerous third-and-one outs, but his patience paid off because those plays set up a big 57 yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon.
  4. Pierre Garcon escapes Cromartie and retains Magneto hands - Speaking of the Frenchy, Garcon redeemed himself from last week's drop-fest. He caught a lot of big passes and made the Colts' only touchdown of the night. Say what you will about him, but there's no denying that he makes plays in the post-season.
  5. Reggie Wayne stranded on Revis Island - 1 catch for 1 yard. 'Nough said.
  6. Blair White and Jacob Tamme did not step up - White has solid hands, but he just can't get open enough. If he were a hair faster, he would be making those catches. That is why he is no Austin Collie. And Tamme had a bad night when we needed him to have a great one. They still had catches, but I guess I was expecting for them to blow me out of the water.
  7. Back to a normal running game -  Now this is the post-Edgerrin James Colts running game that everyone is used to. Joseph Addai had a few good carries, but I can safely say that Dominic Rhodes is no longer possessed
  8. An inconsequential Sanchez pick - Justin Tryon picked off Mark Sanchez as the Jets' quarterback attempted to throw to the endzone, but the Colts squandered away the opportunity for potential field goal. I don't really know what Caldwell was thinking. There was still time left in the second quarter to get into field goal range with two time outs. In hindsight, he really should have been more aggressive because the game came down to one point. When is Caldwell going to learn that he can't be conservative all the time? He did not step up.
  9. Patty Mac and his shorts - I thought Pat McAfree was having problems punting, but then he was still able to kick the balls deep. Maybe he was purposely kicking short to reduce the possibility of punts being returned for touchdowns? I still think he needs a haircut though.
  10. Old looking, young Jets' offensive line - I couldn't help but notice how old the Jets' offensive line looked. Most of them were only 20 something, but they looked older than the oldest guy on the line, 33 year old Damien Woody.
  11. Colts' defensive disappearance after the half - I don't know anyone who thinks a 7-point lead is a thick cushion, but apparently that's what went through the defense's mind because they disappeared after halftime. They couldn't stop the run, they couldn't stop the pass, they couldn't pressure the quarterback. I guess part of it was because Sanchez stopped throwing in the second half (a big cop out on being an NFL quarterback if you can't throw the ball, bum shoulder or not, in my opinion), but that's not an excuse for letting a Jets team run all over you. 
  12. If only Manning had Sanchez' receivers - Sanchez was horrible last night. He needs to thank his lucky stars that he has amazing receivers to bail him out and make him look not as bad. Those throws were high and all over the place and honestly, I don't know even know how some of those catches were made and not picked off by the Colts. It's always the other way around with Manning. Manning makes his receivers look good because of him
  13. Special teams spectacular - Everyone knows that the Colts do not have a good special teams unit. Last night, everyone on special teams (except for Adam Vinatieri) not only failed to step up, they fell miserably short. They gave up chunks of yardage in punt returns, but that aside, they made two big mistakes that cost the Colts the game: 1) Taj Smith's "running into the kicker" penalty gave the Jets an automatic down and helped them run down the clock even more, and 2) they gifted the Jets with great field position with less than a minute left in the game. After Vinny put up 3 points for the Colts to take a 2 point lead, the Jets got the ball back close to mid-field. Had there been no penalty and had the special teams put up more of a fight to force a short field, I'm sure the outcome of the game would have been different. 
  14. Adam Vinatieri deserves a Texas-sized belt buckle engraved with "Mr. Clutch" - This guy is amazing. He makes every single field goal that matters and for someone coming off surgery for a major injury last year, he has had a monster season. When he steps up to kick, it never crosses my mind that the ball might fly wide right. That's just not his style. He likes to split the goal posts right down the middle.
Even though the Colts lost, I can't honestly say that the Jets won because they were a better team. They have more talent on the team as far as the active rosters go, but I think they were very fortunate to play the Colts in the playoffs when the Colts were having an "off" year plagued by injuries.

At any rate, I will root for them next week when they play against the Patriots. I sure hope they can pull off an upset.


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