The Jets tend to activate as many defensive backs as possible against the Patriots because the primary objective is to stop Tom Brady. Guys like Kenrick Ellis tend to have to sit out. The opposite will likely be true this week. The objective will be to stop Denver's heavy run attack. That means all defensive line hands will be on deck.
Ellis is going to get a chance to play tonight, and he could have a big impact. In the thin air of Denver, big guys like Sione Pouha might need more rest than they might otherwise.
The nose tackle position is incredibly important against an option team. One thing that gave the University of Alabama an advantage over other teams defending Tim Tebow when Tebow played at Florida was the presence of Terrence Cody. Most teams needed two players to defend the middle against the run. Because Alabama had one guy, they essentially added an extra defender. The same concept is at play here. I expect to see the Jets sell out against the run. If the nose draws doubles and controls the point of attack, people will go unblocked. There are only so many blockers on any given play.
We know what Pouha is capable of doing. Ellis has looked very good in limited action this season. Perhaps tonight will be his breakout party.