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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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New Orleans at Seattle, 4:30 PM EST Baltimore at Kansas City, 1I PM EST
New York Jets at Indianapolis, 8 PM EST Green Bay at Philadelphia, 4:30 PM EST

Prediction: NYJ 19, IND 27

Update: Dominic Rhodes missed two days of practice but was back on Friday for limited work. He is still expected to be active this week. Reggie Wayne is listed as questionable but had limited work on Thursday and then a full day on Friday. He'll be active for his matchup with Darrelle Revis.

The way this game falls down is if the Jets can run better than the Colts can throw. The Jets are not likely to have a big passing game here against a solid secondary playing at home and the Colts have one of the worst rushing attacks going against one of the best run defenses. Have to like Manning over Tomlinson/Greene in this one. The Colts are not the immoveable object of seasons past, but are good enough at home.

This is a replay of the 2009 Championship game that the Colts won 30-17.

New York Jets (11-5)
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BAL L 9-10 10 @CLE W 26-20
2 NE W 28-14 11 HOU W 30-27
3 @MIA W 31-23 12 CIN W 26-10
4 @BUF W 38-14 13 @NE L 3-45
5 MIN W 29-20 14 MIA L 6-10
6 @DEN W 24-20 15 @PIT W 22-17
7 Bye - 16 @CHI L 34-38
8 GB L 0-9 17 BUF W 38-7
9 @DET W 23-20 - - -
Jets Report | Statistics | Roster
NY JETS Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez - - 220,1
RB Shonn Greene 60 10 -
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 50 10 -
TE Dustin Keller - 40 -
WR Jerricho Cotchery - 30 -
WR Braylon Edwards - 50 -
WR Santonio Holmes - 60,1 -
PK Nick Folk 4 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Jets had been all over the place in consistency this year. They looked like world beaters until the bye in week seven, got shut out by the visiting Packers and barely won in Detroit and Cleveland. nipped the Texans and finally had a solid win over the Bengals. But then lost to the Pats and Dolphins in games that they could not conjure up even a shred of offense. The win in Pittsburgh salvaged their reputation some but overall, it is not always apparent which Jets team is going to show up.

QUARTERBACK: Mark Sanchez has a sore shoulder that will likely need surgery in the offseason and he took week 17 off to rest it more. He only had limited practice on Wednesday but is fully expected to play. Sanchez has not been as effective as a passer for a month now and only threw for one touchdown over the last four games that he has played. Going against a tough secondary is not going to help.

Sanchez passed for 257 yards and two scores in the game last year and had almost no rushing game to support him.

The Colts have only allowed ten passing scores in the eight home games though four of those had two touchdowns each. Sanchez is not throwing as well though so anything more than moderate yardage and a score would be a surprise. It has been six weeks since he has done more than that.

RUNNING BACKS: There is an interesting dynamic at play here at least potentially. LaDainian Tomlinson has been used less and less as the season progressed and has not been over 60 rushing yards since back in week five. He only has one touchdown in the last ten games. He isn't even used much as a receiver. with no more than two catches for the last five weeks.

Shonn Greene has been inconsistent overall but more productive than Tomlinson in recent weeks. Both he and Tomlinson ran in a score in Chicago and yet Greene scored nothing in the games since week five. The yardage split kills their value and the lack of scoring makes it even worse. Now Joe McKnight comes off a 30 carry game that gained 158 yards last week though it was at home against the Bills. But McKnight showed actual speed which had not been seen in the Jets backfield. He could show up in this game and further drain the backfield value.

The Colts defense has been much better at home all year and there is a chance that the Colts get a lead and make the Jets throw which would make it even worse. No reason to expect any of these players to have a big game here and you cannot rely on any of them for more than moderate yardage at best. I will assume that McKnight does not have a big role but he is a risk.

The Jets combined for only 83 yards on 26 carries in the Championship game last year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brad Smith has been mostly a nonfactor this year good for one or two runs per week as the wildcat quarterback but he gained 60 yards on five runs last week and Sanchez may need the help if his shoulder becomes an issue at all. It is not enough to rely on him doing anything but could be an element here.

Braylon Edwards finally scored in week 17 on a 52-yard catch and run which was his first touchdown since week 11. Jerricho Cotchery has been marginal all year and only has two scores on the season. He's been nearly invisible in road games as of late. Santonio Holmes remains the wideout with the most upside and he has scored in each of the last two games and has six touchdowns on the season. He has topped out around 70 yards per game for the last six weeks and the sore shoulder of Sanchez has not been connecting deep with him.

The Colts secondary is always better at home and the Jets are not throwing all that well anyway. Only four receivers had ended with more than 50 yards in the last seven home games and Kenny Britt, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Andre Johnson were all more productive coming in than the Jets crew has been.

TIGHT ENDS: The Jets started the season using Dustin Keller who had five touchdowns over the first four weeks but he has not scored since then and remained well below 50 yards in almost every matchup. The Colts are weaker against the position but the Jets just have not relied on Keller as a scorer since week four.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 21 11 13 19 7 7
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 15 25 5 18 29 14
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-)   -6 +14 -8 -1 -22 -7

Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU L 24-34 10 CIN W 23-17
2 NYG W 38-14 11 @NE L 28-31
3 @DEN W 27-13 12 SD L 14-36
4 @JAC L 28-31 13 DAL L 35-38
5 KC W 19-9 14 @TEN W 30-28
6 @WAS W 27-24 15 JAC W 34-24
7 Bye - 16 @OAK W 31-26
8 HOU W 30-17 17 TEN W 23-20
9 @PHI L 24-26 - - -
Colts Report | Statistics | Roster
QB Peyton Manning - - 300,2
RB Joseph Addai 50,1 20 -
RB Dominic Rhodes 40 10 -
TE Jacob Tamme - 70,1 -
WR Reggie Wayne - 50 -
WR Blair White - 50 -
WR Pierre Garcon - 80,1 -
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Colts were looking very mortal back in week 13 when the Cowboys handed them their third straight loss. But the Colts have been on a four game winning streak and the offense has been putting out 30+ points in almost every game. The defense has been less than stellar in most cases but this is the playoff and the Colts are getting healthier. There's no replacing Dallas Clark of course, but at least

QUARTERBACK: Peyton Manning is on a seven game streak of throwing for two or more touchdowns. He already has 33 touchdowns on the season and had seven games over 300 yards this season. Manning passed for 377 yards and three touchdowns on the Jets in the Championship game last year and Dallas Clark had a small role that week.

The Jets have allowed at least one passing score in each road game this season and five times gave up two or more touchdowns. Both Tom Brady and Chad Henne passed for more than 300 yards on the visiting Jets. This is Manning at home - no reason to expect less than he has always been.

RUNNING BACKS: Dominic Rhodes missed Wednesday's practice with a hip injury but he is expected to play this week and he is a support player anyway. Joseph Addai is back and scored once in week 16 in his only playing time since week six when he injured his neck. He and Rhodes will share the load this week though certainly Joseph will take the lead and have a bigger role if his production warrants it.

The Jets have a top unit against the run though they have been less effective in road games where they gave up five rushing scores over the last three away trips. There is almost no chance that either runner will top 100 yards but there could be a score here for Addai if it ends up near the goal line.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Darrell Revis is going to be playing patty-cake with Reggie Wayne this week according to the Jets and it certainly makes perfect sense. Wayne has never scored when being covered by Revis and Manning rarely even throws his way. That leaves Pierre Garcon and Blair White. Garcon has scored five times over the last five games and been the most productive wideout since most defenses focus on Wayne. White has scored only once in the last five games and has remained below 50 yards in every game.

Have to like Garcon to show up with a score in this game and at least decent yardage. Wayne has value but only marginally with Revis tagging along.

TIGHT ENDS: This should be a very nice game for Jacob Tamme since Wayne is dancing with Revis and the Jets are actually much weaker against tight ends than their ranking suggests. They have given up five touchdowns to the position in road games and Manning has been looking for Tamme more in recent weeks with seven catches in each of the last three games.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 4 26 1 8 3 26
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 17 2 21 12 4 3
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-)   +13 -24 +20 +4 -1 -23

New Orleans at Seattle, 4:30 PM EST Baltimore at Kansas City, 1I PM EST
New York Jets at Indianapolis, 8 PM EST Green Bay at Philadelphia, 4:30 PM EST
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