Meadowlands Massacre

It was one of those unbelievable blowouts. Sam Garnes said it reminded him of the 41-0 rout of Minnesota in the NFC Championship game that he took part in two years ago, as a member of the Giants. These circumstances were a little different because the Jets were favored to win. But nobody expected an outcome like this.

"This is more than what we could have asked for," said Marvin Jones on his team's 41-0 route of the Colts. "This is a great feeling. I didn't imagine we could win it like this though, but it worked out for us."

 

From the very beginning, the Jets manhandled the Colts. They immediately took a 7-0 lead on their first possession when Chad Pennington hit Richie Anderson on a screen pass for a 56-yard touchdown.

 

"We've had that play in our playbook since I've been here, and we knew that if we get the right look and we get a couple of blocks down the field, that it can open wide up," said Kevin Mawae. "It was a huge effort on Richie's part to outrun the safety. There was nobody outside, and [he] just took it down the field."

 

Randy Thomas had a huge block on the play, that paved the way for Anderson to score. The Jets blocking was sensational, and would be the theme of the game. Dave Szott had a tremendous pancake block on LaMont Jordan's one-yard TD run in the second quarter, which put the Jets up 17-0.

 

"We're doing a lot of things very well and making the most of our opportunities," said Szott. "I said it last week and I'll say it again. They messed up and let us in, and we are playing our best football and we're not intimidated by anybody."

 

The Jets' defense certainly played their best game, posting their first shutout of the season. Defensive Coordinator Ted Cottrell drew up a terrific game plan, and had Peyton Manning looking confused all game.

 

"We knew we had a plan, and Teddy called it and the guys executed it," said head coach Herman Edwards. "We were trying to bait him. We were trying to trick him like we were doing something. That was part of the plan."

 

"We knew coming into this game [that] he does a lot of audibles," said Jones. "But we could line it up, step out front and move around. A lot of times we got him in a position where he was not able to just go up to the line and run plays. It cost him some time outs and we were able to defuse him."

 

Gang Green's defense didn't just defuse Manning, they shut down the entire Colts offense, holding the usually high-powered group to just 176 total net yards. Record-setting wide receiver Marvin Harrison had just four catches, and the Colts rushed for just 52 yards.

 

"Not a whole lot went right," said Manning. "We couldn't' get much going offensively, and the Jet offense got into a rhythm. It was a snowball effect and we left the score to show for it."

 

Manning threw for just 137 yards and two INT's, but his receivers did not help him at all by dropping passes all game. Nevertheless, Manning expected to get the brunt of the blame.

 

"I'm a pretty wide open target and I'm sure the articles are already written and the shots are going to be fired," said Manning. "All I can do is sit here and take it. I certainly would have liked to play better and help my team out more."

 

There was nothing Indianapolis could have done tonight. The Jets were simply on another level. It's like a broken record but, Pennington was masterful again, completing 19 of 25 passes for 222 yards and three TD's. The 26-year-old has shown poise well beyond his years.

 

Gang Green heads into the conference semi-finals red-hot. They have blown away their last three opponents by a combined 113-34. They await the results of Sunday's Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland game, which will determine if they head out to Oakland or Tennessee. 

 


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