Colts-Jets. It's history.
The upstart New York Jets are going to Indianapolis to play in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday and I can't get all this history out of my head.
The most important NFL game ever played was Super Bowl III, a 16-7 Jets victory over the Colts 41 years ago in the Orange Bowl.
The most important game of the 2009 NFL season also featured the Colts and Jets. For a different reason.
And the chiseled profile of
Listen up, young folks. Let me explain:
Every NFL fan should know the folklore of Super Bowl III. The 1968 Colts, coached by Shula, were considered one of the greatest teams in the history of professional football. Led by quarterback
Super Bowl III was actually the first NFL-AFL championship game which was called the Super Bowl.
On a day when he was statistically-ordinary (17 of 28, 206 yards) Namath was the Super Bowl MVP in a 16-7 shocker. The Jets intercepted Morrall three times which prompted Shula to try Unitas in the fourth quarter. Unitas got the Colts into the end zone but it was a day of abject humiliation for the Colts and in the annals of NFL history, it was more important than the epic championship ("Greatest Game Ever Played") at Yankee Stadium between the Giants and Colts in 1958. Those Colts were coached by
Fast forward more than four decades to Lucas Oil Stadium on December 27, 2009. The 2009 Indianapolis Colts (they fled Baltimore under the cover of darkness in 1984) were 14-0, threatening to become only the second team in NFL history to go 16-0 in the regular season. They had won an NFL-record 23 consecutive regular-season games and had a chance to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins (coached by Shula) as only the second undefeated team in league history.
Indy bolted to an early lead over the moribund Jets (then 7-7) and still led when coach
Nobody could have imagined at the time that Caldwell's white flag in Game 15 would have given birth to the monster that has become the 2009 playoff Jets.
Here we getting ready for conference championship weekend and the Jets, not the Colts, are the story of the NFL. Bombastic coach
Sunday's Jets victory was the only competitive game -- and the only upset -- last weekend. The Jets have a rookie quarterback,
Ryan has become the latter-day Namath. He's not ''guaranteeing" victory, but before the start of the playoffs he told us that his team should be the favorites and thus far the Jets have done nothing to discourage the outrageous notion. The Jets are the pigs at the NFL party and they owe it all to the team that paved their path by quitting in Game 15 -- the same team they'll face Sunday in the AFC Championship.
It's history and it's rich.
After shocking the Chargers in San Diego, Ryan went to the podium and said, "It's probably the matchup nobody wanted, but too bad -- here we come.''
Wrong, Rex. This is the matchup everybody wanted.
Jets at Indianapolis II: This Time It Counts.