Here is a round-up of what sports writers are saying about Satuday’s AFC wild card playoff between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts.
New York Daily News — Jets prepared for Manning’s sleight of hand
The pre-snap circus comes with a full complement of twitching body parts, streams of babble and plenty of finger pointing. For the better part of 40 seconds before every snap, Peyton Manning, certified football brainiac, is nearly impossible to understand. Read story.
New York Daily News — Jets have good change to get past Colts, not Pats
If the Jets are running out of the tunnel at Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV, then they not only will have backed up Rex Ryan’s boasts of the past two years, but they will have navigated the most treacherous road to the Super Bowl a team has ever faced. Read story.
New York Post — Jets are bold, brash and … NY’s team
Once again, the New York Jets carry the banner for New York City. A tough team, and a tough-talking team, with a tough-talking coach, that embraces representing a tough town. For however long this exhilarating ride lasts — and the Jets view Indianapolis tomorrow night as a stopover on the Road to Dallas — this is Jets Town, another chance for the franchise that hasn’t won anything in 42 years to rise up out of the shadows and light up the Empire State Building in green and white. While the Giants Wait ’Til Next Year. Read story.
Wall Street Journal — Hold the Victory Parade, Here Come Mathis and Freeney
Like any good pass rusher who cares about his craft, Robert Mathis studies the idiosyncrasies of his opponents, poring over game film in search of even the smallest advantage. Maybe the quarterback, whenever a defensive lineman gets too close, reflexively stops looking downfield for a receiver and starts probing the wall of linemen in front of him for an escape route. Maybe the right tackle offers a subtle signal that he’s about to retreat into his pass-blocking stance. Sooner or later, the film will reveal a pattern. The film always reveals a pattern. Read story.
New York Times — After Slump, Manning’s Season Looks Up
His arm strength has been questioned. His ability to continue as the starter was dismissed in an angry rant by his team’s radio announcer. His brilliant career was ever so slightly sullied by a confounding three-week slump. Read story.
Sports Illustrated — Rex Ryan’s Reputation on Line vs. Peyton Manning, Colts
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Earlier in the week, Rex Ryan said it was “personal,” this thing with him and Peyton Manning. The Jets’ coach said he was determined that he would beat him someday, and that he was hoping that day would be Saturday, when the Jets travel to Indianapolis for a playoff rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game. Read story.