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Pace: Front Four’s Key at Peyton’s Place

Posted by Eric Allen on January 4, 2011 – 8:14 am

Calvin Pace regularly applies the heat on opposing quarterbacks. But on Monday he put the pressure on the Jets’ defensive front as they get set to begin their week of preparation for Saturday’s AFC Wild Card Game at the Colts.

“This game is really going to come down to the front four,” said the veteran outside linebacker. “I know we’ve taken some criticism in not necessarily getting the sack numbers that we probably should have, but we want to step our game up with the front four. Sometimes maybe not blitzing as much, just rushing the four guys to try to get to Peyton.”

The Jets actually finished tied for eighth in the league in sacks during the regular season, amassing 40 over 16 games. But Manning, whose 679 pass attempts led the NFL, finished tied among all starters for the fewest times sacked — he and his brother, Eli, were put down just 16 times.

“The beauty of this week is you know Peyton is going to be sitting right behind the center,” said Pace. “He’s not going to move around too much and that helps us out.”

But Manning’s mind is always moving and that often keeps him ahead of defenses. Despite losing both TE Dallas Clark and WR Austin Collie to injury this season, he still threw for 4,700 yards and completed 66.3 percent of his passes.

“He comes to the line and says different things. I don’t know how much of it is to alert certain guys that maybe a blitz is coming, maybe a hot route, maybe he’s changing the direction of a run,” said Pace of the famous director.

The 34-year-old Manning was interception-free for three of the last four regular-season games. That followed an unimaginable three-week stretch sandwiched around Thanksgiving when he was victimized by 11 interceptions.

“We have to give him some different looks, maybe some things he hasn’t seen to maybe confuse him a little bit here and there,” Pace said. “I know some teams have had some interceptions on him and it helped them win games.”

Saturday will mark the third time the Jets and the Colts have squared off in Lucas Oil Stadium since Dec. 27, 2009. The Jets won their Week 16 meeting last year when the then-perfect Colts sat Manning in the second half after he completed 14 of 21 for 192 yards. Then in the AFC Championship Game, he was brilliant in leading the home squad back from an 11-point deficit, passing for 377 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-17 win.

“I do remember a lot of the plays Indy was running, I remember the tempo the game was being run at, I remember some of the route combinations, so it does help a lot,” Pace said. “It’s tough because to go from the Buffalo week and going back to where we need to be, to fast-forward and go into playoff mode is tough. It’s a fast transition that we have to make.”

There will be familiarity on both sides. Inside ‘backer David Harris sacked Manning twice in the first quarter of the AFC Championship as the Jets forced consecutive three-and-outs to open up, but momentum was lost late in the first half.

“He’s seen every blitz. He’s probably already watched half our season,” said Pace. “It’s tough, but disguises are going to be key. And when guys are given chances to make plays, we’ll have to make plays, whether it’s an interception or coming up with a fumble or whatnot. We have to have an impact on this game and we have before. I think we did a great job last year. There were just a couple of big plays in the AFC Championship Game. We just have to take that same type of intensity for this first game.”

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Posted in Eric Allen | 18 Comments »

18 Responses to “Pace: Front Four’s Key at Peyton’s Place”

  1. By IRA on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Sure we all love to see our team get sacks and yes they are necessary. Key to me is disrupting Manning’s timing by hitting him and keeping constant pressure on him and also disrupting the WR’s and hitting them at the line of scrimmage. All these things are a must if the Jets are going to have success against manning and his offense. And while i would love to see Sanchez run the clock out and take a few kneel downs i also wouldn’t mind seeing manning on his back a couple of times this week.

  2. By Troy(nyjetsholdSBtrophyin2010 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    It will be down to the pressure that the down 3 and which ever Olb is rushing the qb,I do think Rex will really change it up this game and not have so many pressure packages with 6+ defenders sent blitzing ,leaving Revis & Cro on the edge in man to man with Wayne & Garcon ,and bracketing the coverage with the slot guy white and TE Tamme,really forcing him Manning to have to pick on Rev or Cro,mixing up our personel on the d-line would help in passing situations,putting Taylor and pace at end ellis and pryce on the interior,looking for some speed rushes to try and generate pressure,i just dont see alot of safety blitzes this time around,wither way were really going to have to hope our offense is explosive ,

  3. By Gmany3k on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    I agree we the both of you.

  4. By Troy(nyjetsholdSBtrophyin2010 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Just read some of the comments from the previous post, with pretty much everyone saying we need to run run run,well the problem is the colts have been stopping the run in the past month agianst teams that really run it well, I really think to win this game it going to have to come through the air on marks arm,they do not have anything near the talent on the back end to cover SH.BE J-CO, Keller,remember last yrs afct.game we couldnt run on them then,actually they had alot better day on the ground then we did,not saying we shouldn’t be balanced but maybe throwing to set up the run instead of the opp. I think LTD has big game inside the dome on the fast track either with carries also catching out of backfield,…cont

  5. By Troy(nyjetsholdSBtrophyin2010 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    cont…I do think the fast indoor track will benefit us (though we havent played on one in while Detroit) I beleive that played a big part in our Secondary struggles at Chicago with that field being mush ,like I said yesterday I really hope we get an officiating crew thats going to let these 2 teams play by limiting the ticky tack penalties in the backfield or if mannings helmet get brushed by a hand or even our guy Just let them play and if they do its a huge adv. for the Jets exp. in the secondary to be able to be physical with thier Wr’s….Pass to set up Run is the formula to victory this week ,we have the weapons now and a semi hot QB that tore through 2 great d’s in Pitt & Chi,and lastly dont let them score in the 2 min drill..

  6. By IRA on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    You are 100% correct. The Colts are going to load the box and dare Sanchez to throw and he is going to have to make plays and that will open up the running game.They must keep Mathis and Freeney off balance to slow down theie pass rush.

  7. By dopey fan on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    peyton against a team with no pass rush.

    peyton against a team forced to blitz because it has no pass rush.

    in either case, the end is near. Saturday, 11:30 pm eastern time. dandy don will be up there singing, “turn out the lights, the party’s over. they say good things must end….”

    signed: life-long jets fan

  8. By Too Kool on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone always forgets the special teams. Huge advantage for jets. Weatherford has been amazing of late, and will help us win field position. B.Smith always dangerous on the carpet. Just gotta worry about game coming down to field goal. Can Folk handle the pressure of possible game winner? Hope we don’t have to find out…

  9. By IRA on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Don’t see it that way. I think the Jets have the talent to beat Manning and the Colts.
    Jets 34- Colts 30
    GO JETS!!!!!

  10. By Mike Jet Vet on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    dopey Fan now I know why the name . Mr Dandy Don has passed awhile ago..Payton will be against a more prepared Jets team this time around manning is 7-2 in games coached by Rex soon to be 7-3 with the exception of the Pats game Jets are road warriors ..law of averages tells us its the Colts who’ll be singing turn out the lights the partys over …….signed MJV

  11. By Tom Spicer on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    The Jets need to go with a 4-3 & sit Mike Devito for this game he is great vs the run but brings zero pass rush. Play Ellis & Pohua at the DT’S & rotate in pryce. Start Pace & Tayloe at the DE’S & tell them to go all game. Yiou cant not beat Manning rushing 3 guys he will eat up that prevent D. Manning is also good vs the blitz so we need to pressure with our front 4. It is not about sacking him cause we wont sack him alot but just getting alot of hits on him will do the job. We need to let him know we are there alot of his stuff is based off of timing. We need to get him to throw just a split second early & that will make a big differencde.

  12. By dopey fan on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    hey mike jet vet:

    my post said “dandy don will be UP THERE singing”. what do you think that means?

  13. By TONY GARCIA on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    JET FAN SINCE 1969. we need to have balance on offense and play more zone everything in fron’t.maybe play MCKNIGHT let him get some carries not much game film on him.create a three headed monster,passing game will open.

  14. By cheps13 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


  15. By Doug aka BIGD on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    i agree we need to run the4-3 an mix it up with the timely blitzes… then like rex said we wont forget this reguarding the pats runnin up the score. rex stop bein so nice in the media about these other teams! keep talkin smack its who we are

  16. By Glenn big bass Dowling on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    pressure,pressure,pressure it is the only way you can beat a guy like manning,look what happen last year vs the pats in week 2,thats the type of D we gotta play…we cant be scared to let sanchez throw a couple long plays to santonio! 1st down we run,2nd down playaction,third down hopefully be within distance of the yellow line and pound!

    GO jets!!

  17. By 10and6jets on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    There is a lot of talk about Eric Smith coming back but in my opinion we should still use the Lowery and Pool combo. to make big plays and be solid against 3 and 4 receivers over the middle and in the slot. Also, who will be our slot receiver on Saturday?

  18. By waldo on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    It’s anybody’s guess!!!!!!!!!!!

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