INDIANAPOLIS - Nothing personal, Peyton. Rex Ryan and the New York Jets finally got the made-for-TV ending they wanted - they beat you.
The coach who earlier this week made the game a coach vs. quarterback matchup needed a kicker to beat Manning.
Nick Folk, older brother of University of Washington kicker Erik Folk, kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired Saturday night, giving the New York Jets a 17-16 wild-card playoff victory over Indianapolis.
With his main tormentor out of the way, New York (12-5) heads to New England for a third meeting a week from today; they split during the season, but the Patriots won at Foxborough, 45-3.
The Colts (10-7) beat the Jets for the AFC title a year ago.
It was a remarkable turn of emotions for the Colts, who thought they won it when Adam Vinatieri made a 50-yard field goal with 53 seconds to go.
But Antonio Cromartie returned the kickoff 47 yards and Mark Sanchez needed five plays to get the Jets into position for the winner.
“I’ll tell you what, it feels awesome because this is the playoffs and we’re moving on,” Ryan said. “You know, he (Manning) is the best, and he almost did it to us again.”
Manning was 18-for-26 passing for 225 yards and a TD, and got Vinatieri in position with an eight-play, 48-yard drive in the final 21/2 minutes.
But he left 53 seconds on the clock for New York.
After Braylon Edwards made a leaping 18-yard catch to take New York to the Colts 14, Folk’s kick went right down the middle.
Tomlinson, considered washed-up by some, carried 16 times for 82 yards and scored on two 1-yard runs.
“It’s emotional, exciting and all those things at once,” Tomlinson said. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight against a great team.”
The Colts helped the Jets’ winning drive by calling timeout with 29 seconds remaining and the ball at the Indianapolis 32.
“We’ve got to tip our hat to our offense. It was unbelievable,” said Ryan, whose bravado made him a summer sensation in HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series. “I mean, we totally dominated the second half offensively. On defense, we had to hold serve. Against Peyton, you’re not going to stop him completely, but our guys played well enough to get it done and keep him out of the end zone. Our offense was just spectacular.”