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Jets - Broncos Preview: Soaring High, Gang Green Travels to Invesco Field

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4-1 has a nice ring to it.

On Friday, the Jets flew to Denver, Co., in hopes of adjusting to the different time zone and extremely high altitude. HC Rex Ryan knows Invesco Field is a tough place to play, especially coming off the short week with a couple of his star players ailing.

Still, the Jets have put themselves in a great position. The current division leader has a shot to go 5-1 with the bye week on deck, so let's discuss how they can do just that.



Between The Numbers:

  • Denver ranks No. 32 in NFL in rushing yards (51.8 ypg)

  • Jets rank No. 1 in rushing yards (165.2 ypg) while Denver ranks No. 25 against the run (127.4 ypg)

X-Factor: TE Dustin Keller

Keller has been one hell of a matchup problem for opposing defenses this season. If they should choose to double him, the result is single coverage on our wideouts, and it also opens things up for our running game.

Last week, Keller was held to only 2 catches for 14 yards.

Look for a big rebound from the TE this week, as he will be going up against a banged-up secondary that will likely be missing FS Brian Dawkins as well as two other defensive backs.

Pound The Rock:

Jets rank No.1 in rushing offense (165 ypg) and go up against a porous Denver defensive front which ranks No. 25 against the run (127 ypg). I think the offensive line has some extremely favorable matchups and both Tomlinson and Greene should have some big holes to run through on Sunday.

Tomlinson has 76 rushes for 435 yards thus far this season -- 5.7 ypc.

In the fourth quarter of the Miami game, I watched RB Shonn Greene re-gain his confidence and made a point to mention it. The following week, he rushed for 117 yards in Buffalo. After the early fumbles in the Ravens' game, the big fella has now returned to the powerful, downhill runner he is, and I look for Jets to rush for 200+ yards on Sunday.    .

One Dimensional:


It's safe to say Denver has no running game. They rank dead-last in rushing yards at 51.8 ypg.

Their play selection is predictable. On average, they rush 22.8 times/game and pass 42.6 times/game.

To be successful in the NFL, balance is key and the Broncos are the farthest thing from that. Many overlook how much easier it is to prepare for an offense that is either pass-heavy or run-heavy.

Blitz Early and Often:

This isn't something we have to tell DC Mike Pettine, he's going to do it anyway.

However, in this particular matchup, Jets must bring pressure against Orton and effectively move the pocket. Orton is a pocket passer, if you allow him to sit and throw he will pick your secondary apart. He's not mobile, though, and is not good throwing on the run. If Jets can blitz him from a variety of different angles and gaps they can take him out of a rhythm.

Broncos have allowed 12 sacks this season -- look for Jets to get after Orton. Pettine will likely bring many different looks on Sunday to keep Orton guessing.

Death by Turnover Ratio:

Jets still lead the league in turnover ratio at a phenomenal +11. QB Mark Sanchez has still yet to throw an interception, and the Jets have been the benefactor of such a strong turnover ratio.

Broncos have fumbled 7 times thus far this season. Jets will be looking to strip the young, inexperienced team whenever possible.  

Prediction:

I like the Jets to ground-and-pound early and often against a weak Denver defensive front that is suspect against the run. This, in turn, will help them control the clock and dictate the tempo of the game in a tough road environment to play in. Coming off a short week, it's important to keep the defense off the field as much as possible and keep them fresh.

On defense, Jets must press Denver's receivers at the line so Orton can't beat the blitz with some quick timing routes. Communication must be better in the secondary, also. Jets must wrap up and not allow the young, speedy Denver receivers to run free in the open field.

Jets have too many weapons on offense for a banged-up Broncos' defense to defend against. Look for their balance on offense to give Denver fits all day.

Jets 26, Broncos 20