NFL Network analyst Solomon Wilcots predicted in a live chat that Colts’ experience will carry them over the Jets in a close 27-23 finish during Saturday’s Wild-Card matchup.
“The speed and energy of the postseason requires the QB to slow the game down in his mid and make plays,” said Wilcots. “Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis will speed up the game for Mark Sanchez and force him to make mistakes, while Manning will only get better during the game. Poise is on the Colts’ side.”
Wilcots added that when playing indoors on a fast and dry surface, that Freeney and Mathis will “turn this into a track meet and make it a race to a QB” and he doesn’t believe Sanchez will be able to handle the pressure.
Wilcots also called out the tackling efforts of CBs Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis predicting that, “short runs could become long runs because the Jets’ secondary refuses to tackle. It’s a shame.”
As for Rex Ryan’s jabbering that beating Peyton Manning is “personal” after losing the AFC Championship to the Colts last year, Wilcots believes Ryan needs to get used to it.
“Last year Peyton cracked the code to Rex Ryan’s defense as he did so many times when Rex was in Baltimore,” said Wilcots. “If it is personal, Manning is still looking to hurt his feelings on Saturday.