KEYS TO THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
The Colts faced a familiar offense last week - a run-based attack led by a young quarterback - and essentially shut it down. Sanchez has been efficient but has also been well protected with a strong ground game that is featuring more of rookie RB Shonn Greene with Thomas Jones (knee) not at full strength. Indianapolis’ undersized front seven could struggle with the physicality of the Jets’ offensive line. But when backed into passing situations, Sanchez will have to make quick, smart decisions with DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis attacking off the edge. ... The Jets’ defense has done an excellent job of using a variety of blitzes and excellent downfield coverage to upend Cincinnati and San Diego. The two critical factors will be whether the Colts’ receivers can win their individual matchups off the line and whether Manning is accurate in very tight windows to burn the blitz. Manning is one of the league’s best at making pre-snap adjustments, and will need to be on his game to read where the pressure is coming from.