INDIANAPOLIS -- For weeks I've been harping on how critical it is for the New York Jets to maintain a one-score game. That allows them to keep pounding the ball and prevents them from leaving their fate to Mark Sanchez's rookie right arm.
There's another type of one-score game the Jets must be mindful of Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
A score, as in Gettysburg address parlance, also means 20. That's been a magical number of points for the Jets. When they've surrendered 20 or more points this season, they are 0-5. When they've allowed less than 20 points, they are 11-2.
"It's still a burr in my saddle that we gave up seven touchdowns without the defense being on the field because that number would be less than that," Ryan said this week at the Jets' facility in Florham Park, N.J. "It's just that it shows that we understand how to keep people out of the end zone for the most part."
The Colts averaged 26 points in the regular season and posted 20 on the Baltimore Ravens last weekend.
"They score about as well as anybody," Ryan said. "So it's a huge challenge. If we're going to keep Indianapolis from scoring 14 points, that's even a stretch for me to say. I know one thing: We're darn sure going to try."
Ryan-influenced defenses have had their troubles against Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
Since Ryan joined the Ravens' defensive staff in 1999, his teams have given up an average of 26.1 points a game, not counting the Week 16 game in which Colts coach Jim Caldwell pulled Manning with almost six minutes left in the third quarter.