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Freeney knows Colts must stop Jets' running game

As much as Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney loves to rush the passer, he understands that stopping Jets running backs Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene takes precedence over sacking quarterback Mark Sanchez in Sunday's AFC title game.
 
"Because of what the Jets do, our main concern is stopping the run," Freeney said today in an interview on ESPN Radio. "That's the most important part. They are No. 1 in the NFL as far as running the ball. Everybody knows they're going to run the ball, and they still run the ball effectively. So, we have to get them one-dimensional. If we can do that and get Sanchez throwing the ball, that would be the best situation for us because that's the makeup of our team."
 
The Jets ended the Colts' NFL-record 23-game regular-season winning streak with a 29-15 upset Dec. 27 in Indianapolis. It was a controversial game because Colts coach Jim Caldwell pulled quarterback Peyton Manning in the third quarter with a 15-10 lead, and Freeney was used strictly in pass-rushing situations. Defensive end Robert Mathis sat out the whole game because of an injury, and Caldwell pulled other key starters in the second half.
 
Asked to reflect on that game and how it relates to the one that determines the AFC's Super Bowl team, Freeney said: "It was a very physical game on both sides, and we understand what kind of game this will be coming up, a low-scoring, defensive-minded type of game. We have to prepare for that.
 
"They're a good team, regardless of what people may say about the Jets coming in through the backdoor and some teams maybe not playing their 'A' games or 'A starters. It doesn't matter now. Once you get to the playoffs, you can erase the regular season. It's going to be a tough matchup and definitely a physical game."

New York Sports