The Jets' 30-17 loss to Indianapolis in the AFC championship game last season is something they never can get back, but you can believe it will fuel them in their bid for redemption in a first-round playoff rematch Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Recalling the feeling he had walking off the field last year, Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who barely played because of a serious ankle injury, said: "It was disheartening, especially for me because that was two years in a row I was in the AFC championship [including with Baltimore the previous season] and didn't have the opportunity to play for a championship. For some guys, it was a mixed bag, 'We did something special.'
"For me, it wasn't even bittersweet. It was 100 percent bitter."
To return to the AFC title game, the Jets' road goes through quarterbacks Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and then Tom Brady in New England. It doesn't get much tougher than that.
"Nobody said being a champion would be easy," Scott said. "That's what makes it so special. What better way would you want to do it? You have to go into the lion's den screaming like a banshee. You can't go in there meekly. You have to believe. You have to go in aggressively and force your will on the opponent."
The Jets actually took a 17-6 lead last year at Indianapolis, but it shrank to 17-13 just before halftime and Manning picked them apart in the second half. Scott believes that experience will better prepare the Jets for what to expect this time.
"The fact we've been there playing against a great quarterback, we'll be a little more settled, but it's still a tough task," Scott said. "He's still one of the best players in the game, and he can will that team. You have to hit him, get him off his spot and make the plays when they present themselves. He's used to making those plays in tight spots, and we're going to have to step up and make those plays.
"That's the only way you go to Indianapolis and win. You get the ball and give your guys [on offense] an opportunity to get on a short field, and when you have an opportunity to score, you score. Field goals will not beat Peyton Manning."