Jets 17

(9-7, 5-3 away)

Colts 30

(14-2, 7-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

3:00 PM ET, January 24, 2010

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN 

1 2 3 4 T
NYJ 0 17 0 017
IND 0 13 7 1030

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 377 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: J. Addai (IND) - 16 CAR, 80 YDS

Receiving: P. Garcon (IND) - 11 REC, 151 YDS, 1 TD

Colts make up 11-point deficit to push aside Jets on way to fourth Super Bowl

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- This is perfect for the Indianapolis Colts: They have Peyton Manning and they're back in the Super Bowl.

The four-time MVP threw three touchdown passes and the Colts rallied from an 11-point, first-half deficit to beat the New York Jets 30-17 Sunday in the AFC championship game.

More from

The Colts knew over 60 minutes they'd have sufficient time to show their full arsenal and resiliency, writes Paul Kuharsky. Blog

The Jets have plenty to be thrilled about for the future, but they couldn't bring themselves to consider any of it, writes Tim Graham. Blog

• Clayton: Super Os set

The Colts (16-2) are now headed back to the NFL title game for the second time in four years and their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history. Better yet, they're heading back to their lucky city -- Miami, where they've played all four of those games and won there twice.

"I thought we just kept our mouths shut and went to work this week," Manning said.

The big-talking Jets, and their equally big-talking coach, Rex Ryan, were all the incentive Indy needed Sunday.

A month ago, when the New Yorkers last came to town, Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell pulled his starters in the third quarter and gave up a chance at a perfect season to focus on a Super Bowl run. Fans booed throughout the fourth quarter and when the Colts left the field, and some spent the past month complaining publicly.

That's over now.

Up In The Air

Peyton Manning abandoned the Colts' balanced attack after Joseph Addai fumbled on the 28th play from scrimmage and only ran the ball five times in the next 28 plays.

Manning's passing performance
First 28 Next 28
Comp-att 8-14 17-23
TD-Int 0-0 3-0
Passer rating 90.8 142.4
Sacks 2 0
Colts points 6 21

Manning stayed on the field for every Colts play and instead of blowing a lead, the Colts rallied behind their leader.

This time, fans counted down the final seconds while streamers and confetti hung in the air, flash bulbs popped incessantly and when the official announcement was made, roars cascaded from the rafters.

"We talked about being patient against these guys," Manning said. "We knew it would be a four-quarter game."

The Colts will face either New Orleans or Minnesota in two weeks, giving Manning a chance to play in the same venue where he beat Chicago in the rain and won the MVP award three years ago.

Just as special was having the Colts career rushing leader, Edgerrin James, present the team with the Lamar Hunt Trophy, which goes to the AFC champs. He never made it to the Super Bowl with the Colts, though team owner Jim Irsay gave James a ring when the Colts beat the Bears.

Players savored every precious moment. Receiver Pierre Garcon, who had 11 catches for 153 yards, both career-highs, and the go-ahead score raised a Haitian flag to honor his family and friends who still live there. Garcon and others remained on the field long after the official celebration, mingling family, friends and fans as the Colts redeemed themselves for this season's first loss.

Second-Half Struggles

After a nearly flawless first half, Jets QB Mark Sanchez succumbed to pressure by the Colts' defense.

Sanchez by half
1st Half 2nd Half
Comp-att 5-7 12-23
Yards 124 133
TD-Int 2-0 0-1
Passer rating 153.3 51.5

"We've been here before, we had seven comeback wins this year. I think the guys were a little rattled at first, I think we took their best shot, but we came back," linebacker Gary Brackett said. "I think we did a great job of being the hunters and imposing our will today."

Manning finished 26 of 39 for 377 yards. He became the first player in league history with seven 300-yard postseason games. That broke a tie with Kurt Warner and Joe Montana.

The Jets' magical run ended with their first road loss in six games.

New York (11-8) built a 17-6 lead and took advantage of trick plays. But the Jets lost running back Shonn Greene with a rib injury in the second half, and rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez was shut out over the final two quarters.

"Today wasn't our day. There's no question," said Ryan, who declared his Jets the Super Bowl favorites before the playoffs. "You have to give credit to the Colts. Obviously they're the cream of the crop right now."

Jim Caldwell became only the fifth rookie coach to reach the Super Bowl. Only two others -- San Francisco's George Seifert and Don McCafferty, of the Baltimore Colts -- have won it.

But Caldwell does have Manning, who drove the Colts right through New York's No. 1 ranked defense with his uncanny precision. He kept dropping passes right over the fingertips of defenders, and the frustrated Jets couldn't stop him.

Fast Facts

• Peyton Manning broke the NFL postseason record with his seventh game with more than 300 passing yards. He also threw for three TDs.

• The 80-yard TD pass from Mark Sanchez to Braylon Edwards was the longest offensive score in Jets' playoff history and the longest score the Colts have allowed in their postseason history.

• Pierre Garcon's 151 receiving yards were the third most in Colts' postseason history and his 11 receptions were an AFC title game record.

• The Colts beat the Jets in the postseason for first time as the Jets fell to 1-3 in AFL/AFC Championship Games.

• This was the second time the Colts won an AFC Championship Game in which they trailed at halftime.

• Dustin Keller scored his third touchdown of the postseason, tying the Jets' record for most touchdowns in a postseason.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"You can have great man coverage, but that ball is right where it needs to be," safety Jim Leonhard said.

Garcon was one beneficiary. The other was rookie Austin Collie, who had a career-best seven catches for 123 yards, his first 100-yard day as a pro. And the Jets allowed three TD passes for the first time all season.

After falling behind late in the first half, Manning responded. He took the Colts 80 yards in four plays, hooking up three straight times with Collie, including the 16-yard TD pass that made it 17-13 with 1:13 to go in the half.

Manning was just getting started.

The next time he got the ball, he took the Colts 57 yards in eight plays, connecting with Garcon in the back corner of the end zone to make it 20-17 with 8:03 left in the third quarter.

"The guys have always been a very confident bunch and they do a great job of hanging in there," Caldwell said. "Peyton had just an outstanding game. He's one of those guys that can adjust to different situations. ... A real champion."

Manning still wasn't finished. His 15-yard TD pass to Dallas Clark midway through the fourth quarter made it 27-17 and Kelvin Hayden's late interception ended the Jets' last hope.

It sure didn't look like it would end this way during a scoreless the first quarter.

The Colts uncharacteristically struggled to get first downs, and settled for field goals instead of scoring touchdowns.

New York also changed tactics, creating its big plays through the air.

Sanchez, the fourth rookie quarterback to lead his team to the conference title game and lose, used a beautiful play-action fake to fool rookie cornerback Jacob Lacey. Lacey, who started in place of the injured Jerraud Powers, was burned for an 80-yard TD pass by Braylon Edwards giving the Jets a 7-3 lead.

After the Colts cut it to 7-6, Jets receiver Brad Smith lined up in the TigerCat formation and connected with Jerricho Cotchery for a 45-yard pass to the Colts 12. It was Smith's first career completion out of an offensive formation. Three plays later, Sanchez barely avoided a sack and found Dustin Keller for a 9-yard TD pass to give the Jets a 14-6 lead with 4:53 to go in the half.

The Jets made it 17-6 after Joseph Addai's fumble set up Jay Feely's 48-yard field goal.

That's when Manning and the Colts took over -- and closed it out.

"Probably the biggest thing is when he goes up against the best, he takes his game to another level," Caldwell said. "I think that's something we've kind of grown accustomed to around here."

The game was a family affair for the Manning family with Peyton's brother Eli and their father Archie rooting on the Colts.

"I'm pulling for the Colts 100 percent, it's not even close," Archie Manning said.

Sanchez was 17 of 30 for 257 yards with two TDs and a late interception. .... Curtis Martin, the Jets' career rushing leader, was New York's honorary captain. ... The Colts have won both AFC title games played in Indy by coming back from double-digit deficits. The Colts trailed New England by 18 points four years ago at the RCA Dome. ... Referee Tony Corrente mistakenly called the Jets the Giants on the coin toss. ... Cotchery caught five passes for 102 yards, while Edwards finished with two receptions for 100 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1727
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6065
Total Yards388461
Yards per play6.57.1
Total Drives1211
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-13-6
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

indFG15:00Matt Stover 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 82 yds, 3:41
nyjTD14:56Braylon Edwards 80 Yard Pass From Mark Sanchez (Jay Feely Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 80 yds, 0:11
indFG8:49Matt Stover 19 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 79 yds, 6:01
nyjTD4:59Dustin Keller 9 Yard Pass From Mark Sanchez (Jay Feely Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 77 yds, 3:51
nyjFG2:16Jay Feely 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, -1 yds, 1:29
indTD1:19Austin Collie 16 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 80 yds, 0:58
indTD8:08Pierre Garcon 4 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 57 yds, 3:31
indTD8:57Dallas Clark 15 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yds, 3:33
indFG2:33Matt Stover 21 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 71 yds, 5:33