New York Jets
(11-5, 9-7 ATS)
(10-6, 8-7-1 ATS)
Apparently, it’s personal. That’s what the New York Jets are thinking right now on the eve of their first round NFL playoff betting affair with the Indianapolis Colts, a game scheduled to kick off on Saturday night in primetime at Lucas Oil Field.
The formula for the Jets really hasn’t changed from last year’s run to the AFC Championship Game. This is a team that runs the ball and plays some darn good defense, the equation that has set up a number of Super Bowl winners in the past. This year’s team might be just as talented as last year’s bunch, but the numbers don’t really suggest it. What we have to remember is that the schedule was littered with six teams that are in the playoffs and several others that really could have contended this year as well. Instead of being ranked No. 1 both in rushing offense and in total defense like New York was last year, it has to settle for ranking No. 3 in ‘D’ and No. 4 in rushing. RBs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene had a nice year, combining for over 400 carries for almost 1,700 yards and eight TDs between them. QB Mark Sanchez improved quite a bit from Year 1 to Year 2 in the NFL, as he threw for 3,278 yards and had 17 TDs against 13 picks. He had three receivers, WR Braylon Edwards, WR Santonio Holmes, and TE Dustin Keller, all of which had at least 680 receiving yards, at least 50 catches, and at least five TDs to boot.
The Colts have had themselves a long year just chock full of injuries. The only two skill players on the offensive side of the ball that played in all 16 games were QB Peyton Manning and WR Reggie Wayne. Manning broke the NFL record for most completions in a season, and he threw for 4,700 yards and 33 TDs on the season, pacing the league’s No. 1 passing attack. Wayne led the AFC in receptions with 111 and had 1,355 yards and six TDs to show for his work. The ground game still feels like a work in progress, though RB Joseph Addai is back in the fold after missing eight games in the middle of the season, and RB Dominic Rhodes is back with the team after a few years away and a stint in the UFL. Defensively, this is a team with a ton of question marks as well. As if it weren’t bad enough to be allowing 341.6 yards and 24.2 points per game, now Head Coach Jim Caldwell has to deal with potential losses to LB Clint Session, DB Kelvin Hayden, and S Al Afalava in this Wild Card betting bash. For a team that has already lost S Bob Sanders, DB Brandon King, DB Kevin Thomas, DB Jordan Hemby, S Melvin Bullitt, and S Jamie Silva for the season, any more losses are bound to be very, very painful to take in.
Some years, you just don’t have it. The Colts are missing it this year, and they just aren’t going to get it in time for the Jets to come calling. New York is right. This IS a personal game. This is one that this team badly wants, and it is going to pull out every stop in the book to make sure that the job gets done. Don’t be shocked to see the men from the Big Apple come into Peyton’s Place and walk out with a big upset.
Pro Football Free Pick: New York Jets +2.5