Upset victories at
You could argue, and I will, that the Jets have already accomplished the hardest tasks they will face on the road to Super Bowl XLIV.
If the Jets beat the mighty Colts in
Nor would it be the biggest upset in the history of Jets vs. Colts.
That upset occurred
Defense and a strong running keyed the Jets’ upset that day. And football experts cite those factors as the Jets’ best chance for a win today.
Actually, there is an easier way.
Easier but unsportsmanlike.
Knock Peyton Manning out of the game.
The Colts are virtually unbeatable with Manning, their All-World quarterback, but undeniably mediocre without him.
In the Jets’ last visit to Indy, they scored a desperately needed 29-15 victory only because the Colts chose to rest Manning with a lead in the second half rather than pursue an undefeated regular season.
Manning’s replacement, Purdue rookie Curtis Painter, had a deer-in-the-headlights look in the Week 16 game.
Imagine how terrified Painter would be in today’s game with the AFC Championship at stake!
One solid hit on Manning by the blitz-happy Jets, or an accumulation of hard hits, could put him on the sideline and the Jets in firm control of the game.
Would Jets Coach Rex Ryan do such a thing?
Well, his father would. Remember the “Bounty Bowl?”
On Thanksgiving Day 1989, a Philadelphia Eagles team coached by Rex Ryan’s equally irascible father, Buddy, literally beat up the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium.
Giddy Eagles players revealed afterward that the team had a bounty on the heads of Cowboys kicker Luis Zendajas, whom they injured, and star quarterback Troy Aikman, whom they tried hard to injure.
Buddy Ryan stopped at nothing to win a game. And he never got to a Super Bowl as a head coach.
Rex Ryan is just one victory from a Super Bowl as a rookie head coach.
It appears to me that Ryan, the hot new coach in The Big Apple, has not fallen far from the tree.
So would Ryan tacitly urge his players to knock out Peyton Manning?
If you’ve been paying close attention to football this month, then you know sportsmanship has been taking a pounding.
Two cases in point:
In the college national championship game on January 7, Alabama Coach Nick Saban’s team scored a needless touchdown in the final minute against
Last Sunday, with the Vikings already crushing the Cowboys 27-3, Minnesota Coach Brad Childress (a man who once said his team needed to play like “serial killers”) had Brett Favre throw a rub-it-in-their-faces touchdown pass on fourth down.
Neither Childress nor Saban apologized for his lack of sportsmanship.
Winning isn’t everything, both seemed to say. It’s the only thing.
Obviously, the Jets want to reach their first Super Bowl in 41 years.
If they decide to paint a bulls-eye on the back of the Colts’ No. 18 today, then they will show us exactly how badly they want it.