Six teams played both New Orleans and Indianapolis — the Super Bowl competitors, if you haven’t heard — this season: Miami, Arizona, St. Louis, New England, Buffalo, and your New York Jets. Against those teams, the Saints and Colts were 11–2, with the only losses coming at the end of the year, when the Colts fell to the Bills and Jets, respectively, because they obviously didn’t care. Our Jets played each team when there was plenty on the line: the Saints in week four, a game between two undefeated teams, and the Colts for the right to play in this very Super Bowl. So, how’d they do?
The major difference in the two games was the play of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. He was appropriately efficient in the AFC Championship Game loss: No matter how far you might think he has to go, you can’t pin that loss on him. The Saints loss was another story: Sanchez turned the ball over four times, leading to two touchdowns that served as the final margin in the 24–10 loss.
The Saints were undefeated at the time, but the Jets defense gave them bigger headaches than anyone else had, and a lot fewer headaches than they gave the Colts (at least in the second half).
This tells us nothing about the game on Sunday, but we needed a local angle and Rex Ryan hasn’t flipped anybody off in the last 48 hours.