INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) - Peyton Manning can't wait to play all four quarters against the
New York Jets in Sunday's AFC Championship game. The four-time MVP
was one of many Colts starters pulled midway through the third
quarter in their first meeting with the Jest last month.
But that isn't likely to be the case in the rematch.
With the Colts trying to reach their second Super Bowl in four
years, four-time MVP Manning will do whatever it takes to get back
to Miami. He says he started his preparation as the Jets-Chargers
"As soon as the game was over, started my preparations from Xs
and Os standpoint on this team. I think that's where the game is
going to be played and decided on the field. That's where our focus
is and that's where my focus is," Manning said.
The AFC Championship is a rematch of Week 16 when the Jets ended
the Colts' pursuit of the perfect season. The Colts took a lot of
heat for pulling their starters and the win propelled the Jets into
the playoffs and they haven't lost yet.
The players say the rematch will be a completely different
Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney said, "Obviously, we
didn't finish the starters, they ended up winning the game that was
good for them. That help them get into the playoffs but this is a
new game and it's the AFC Championship Game, everything that
happened is kind of irrelevant now."
It’s the second time in four years the Colts are in the
AFC Championship Game and for the veterans, they know what to
expect, but for the rookies, it's a dream come true.
Rookie punter Pat McAfee said, "We are really lucky, as rookies,
we know that just trying to take advantage of that."
Rookie Jacob Lacey said he couldn’t imagine being in the
championship game last year at this time.
"Oh no, that was definitely a far away thought, especially when
you are still in college, but it’s a blessing to be here," he
Rookie wide receiver Austin Collie agrees.
"Really didn't think ahead, but it's been a dream come true and
it's unbelievable and just trying to focus on the Jets and getting
the 'w' there," he said.
The rookies have taken their cues from the veterans.
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne tells the rookies the same thing he
told them at training camp.
"Just taking their time, not rushing into everything, taking it
one play at a time...try not to do too much, let the game come to
Manning said he's been very impressed with the play of the young
"You don't know how they are going to react. What we have seen
out of our younger guys, they have a look in their eyes. They have
a calmness about them," said Manning.
The Colts have the youngest team in the NFL.