The theory has been passed around the league that if you can keep Peyton Manning on the sideline for long enough, you can beat him. He starts pouting, they put his face on TV looking like a sad puppy, and most importantly you keep him off the field. The thought is that the fewer drives Peyton is on the field for, the fewer points Peyton will score. Well that's all fine and dandy in theory, the only thing is... it doesn't make any sense.
Let's face it, the all-important Peyton Manning and his "what's-his-name-again" receiving corps will score points. If they have 12 drives, they'll score on 8 of them. If they have 6 drives, they'll score on 4 of them. Whether he has a lot of chances or a few, the percentage of drives that the Colts score on will be the same. He can score slow just as easily as he can score fast; time doesn't matter. If you take 10 minutes of the clock to score a touchdown, and Peyton takes 10 seconds off the clock and scores, the score is still 7-7. No, that's not the way you beat Peyton. You beat Peyton by scoring touchdowns.The secret to beating the Colts is this: You must score TD's, especially when you get into the red zone. When you have a chance to score a TD, you have to take it, because when Peyton has his chance, he will score a touchdown. That's not a question mark there, that's a period. He will score.
The good thing about that little tidbit is that the Jaguars have done well this season in this respect. The Jaguars, according to Ryan Robinson over at Jaguars.com, have scored TD's on 63.2 percent of their red zone drives. That's the third best number in the NFL. To make my point, do you know who's number two in that statistic? The Indianapolis Colts. No one can really expect to keep Peyton out of the endzone. It'll happen. You just have to be better about it that Peyton. That's what happened earlier this year: we had opportunities to score in the red zone, and we did not settle for field goals. The Colts had opportunities in the red zone and turned the ball over twice. They fumbled once and threw an interception on another.
We've consistently gone for it in risky fourth down situations all season, and we've been better than 50% this year in making them. We go for it because we know 3 points aren't as good as seven. That's the big thing here, the thing we need to remember for this game: controllling the ball doesn't mean anything. It's all about percentages. When you play the Colts, you have to score on your drives, and you have to score touchdowns.