The Jets quest for its first Super Bowl appearance in 41 years is over.
Four-time MVP Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes and the Indianapolis Colts rallied from an 11-point, first-half deficit to beat the New York Jets 30-17 Sunday in the AFC championship game.
The Colts (15-2) are now headed back to Miami for the second time in four years and their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history.
“We talked about being patient against these guys,” Manning said. “We knew it would be a four-quarter game. They have an excellent defense.”
The Colts will face either New Orleans or Minnesota in two weeks.
“It’s very special,” said Manning, MVP when the Colts beat Chicago in the Super Bowl three years ago. “It’s great to win this championship here at home in front of the best fans in the world.”
Fans counted down the final seconds, streamers and confetti hung in the air, flash bulbs popped incessantly and when the official announcement was made, fans roared.
“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,” Caldwell said. “He’s one of those guys that can adjust to different situations. … A real champion.”
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 rookie Mark Sanchez and the Jets were shut out in the second half.
“Today wasn’t our day. There’s no question,” Ryan said. “You have to give credit to the Colts. Obviously they’re the cream of the crop right now.”
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.
I watched this game all the way through. The Jets were the team I rooted for when growing up and I was cheering them on today. When the Jets went up 17-6 I became excited but that ended when Manning drove the Colts 80 yards for a touchdown in about a minute’s time just before the first half ended. How were the Jets going to stop this guy?
The Jets defense failed like it has some so often during the team’s history. Now when will the Jets get their fans hopes up again like they did this year? Since Super Bowl III, the team has made it to the AFC Championship game just three times. The Jets always get a lot of attention, because they are out of New of course, but almost always disappoint. I’m 49, and not willing to place any bets that this franchise will go to the Super Bowl again before I die. My hopes have been crushed too often to be optimistic.
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