The New York Jets advanced to the AFC division championship round of the AFC playoffs after nailing a game-winning field goal to edge the Indianapolis Colts, 17-16, in a wild card match on Jan. 8 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Jets kicker Nick Folk converted a 32-yard field goal as the final seconds ran off the game clock, less than a minute after Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri pushed the Colts ahead with a 50-yard field goal of his own. The Jets (12-5) will travel to Gillette Stadium next weekend to face the New England Patriots (14-2).
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez turned in a below-average performance, finishing with only 189 passing yards and an interception. But the second-year quarterback made a key pass to receiver Braylon Edwards with less than 30 seconds in the game to move the Jets within field goal range.
New York produced their game-winning drive less than a minute after the Colts converted what they thought was the game-winning field goal. Veteran kicker Vinatieri had booted a 50-yard field goal to gave Indianapolis (11-6) a 16-14 lead with 50 seconds left in the game. But a 47-yard return by Antonio Cromartie on the ensuing kickoff gave the Jets great field position to start their final drive.
“I’ll tell you what, it feels awesome because this is the playoffs and we’re moving on,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan told reporters after the game. “You know, he is the best, and he almost did it to us again.”
Manning completed 18 of 26 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to match the performance of Jets veteran tailback LaDainian Tomlinson who rushed for 86 tough yards and two touchdowns. Shonn Greene also contributed to the Jets’ grind-it-out running game, rushing for 70 yards on 19 carries.