On Sunday the New York Jets (4-1), winners of four in a row, take on the Denver Broncos (2-3) at Invesco Field at Mile High (4:05 EST). The Broncos are coming off of a tough, physical loss to the Baltimore Ravens, while Gang Green enters the game flying high off of an emotional Monday night victory over the Vikings. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game.
1) Run early, run often- The New York Jets must get their running game established early, and there are several reasons why. First to get the crowd out of the game. Mile High is no easy place to play, so taking the fans out of the game is a good first step. Secondly the Broncos defense struggles against the run, ranked 25th in the NFL, and this would be a perfect way to wear down a defense that has been decimated with injuries. Lastly it keeps the Broncos pass-happy offense off of the field. The last thing the Jets want to do is to get into a shootout with Kyle Orton and company. The best way to avoid that situation is to control the ball and win the time of possession battle.
2) Avoid mistakes- This may sound obvious but the New York Jets offense must avoid stupid penalties and turnovers in this game. Gang Green cannot afford to put their defense in precarious situations, as Denver’s offense is more than capable of taking advantage of a short field.
Fun Fact: Sanchez and Vinny Testaverde (2000-01) are the only quarterbacks since 1970 who had no interceptions through five starts to open a season after tossing 20 or more interceptions the previous year.
1) Pressure,pressure, pressure- The Denver Broncos will live and die by their passing game as their running game is completely inept, averaging only 51.8 yards per game, which is last in the NFL. Gang Green must find a way to get pressure on quarterback Kyle Orton in order to make him uncomfortable in the pocket. Through 5 games Orton has been sacked 12 times and hit 25 times, so the Jets should be able to accomplish this goal and get to the quarterback.
2) Communication and coverage- The Broncos dynamic passing game is unique as it is built around several receivers (Lloyd,Gaffney, Royal, and Thomas), not just one main go-to guy. Quarterback Kyle Orton does an excellent job spreading the ball around and his receivers are very dangerous after the catch. Gang Green must have solid coverage throughout the secondary, putting tackling at a premium. In addition the Jets must continue to address their communication issues in the secondary, as they could lead to huge plays against the Broncos.
As of this time Darrelle Revis is considered a game-time decision, which to me means he is not playing. Drew Coleman will pair up with Antonio Cromartie at the corner positions with rookie Kyle Wilson at the nickel. Wilson has struggled of late and it would not be surprising to see the Broncos go after him.
Fun Fact: The Jets are only the fourth team since 1933 with one or fewer turnovers in the first five games of a season. The other three clubs to accomplish the feat were the 1960 Cleveland Browns (one), 1998 Cincinnati Bengals (one) and 2008 Washington Redskins (one).
This game makes me nervous as I do not want to see the Jets get into a shootout with the Broncos. Sometimes Gang Green gets a little overconfident on offense, which usually leads to problems and suspect play calling. In the end the team with the better defense and running game will win, and that of course is the New York Jets. 27-17