Rex Ryan said earlier in the week, “Peyton Manning is the best offensive coordinator in the league, he just so happens to play quarterback.” Ryan has the upmost respect for the future hall-a-famer, as Manning is now just five touchdowns shy of tying Brett Favre’s all-time touchdown record with 508.
Manning is the straw that stirs the drink for the Broncos offense, however he has a lot of key offensive weapons that help him out. Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas are two of the best receivers in the NFL. Julius, a tight end, is probably the best at his position this season. Last week the Jets secondary gave up two touchdowns to Antonio Gates so it will be interesting to see how they attack Thomas in this game.
As for the Jets this last week was a low point to say the least. After the Chargers game on Sunday DeMario Davis criticized his teammates about not watching film but then backtracked later in the week saying he needs to set an example. Then on Monday a story came out saying Geno Smith and a few offensive players missed a team meeting the night before the game because they were at the movies.
With all this going on in this Jets locker room the team doesn’t look like a focused group right now. That is a big issue heading into Sunday because if they are not focused going up against the Broncos they will get embarrassed for a second straight week.
When: Sunday October 12th @ 1pm EST. (TV-CBS. Radio-ESPN)
Where: MetLife Stadium. East Rutherford, NJ
Jets: S Josh Bush (Quad) DNP, OL Willie Colon (Knee) limited, WR Eric Decker (Hamstring) limited, OL Breno Giacomini (Low Back) full, LB David Harris (Shoulder) DNP, DL Damon Harrison (Ankle) full, RB Chris Johnson (Ankle) full, OL Nick Mangold (Shoulder) limited, DB Dee Milliner (Quad) limited, WR David Nelson (Ankle) DNP, DB Darrin Walls (Knee) DNP.
Broncos: OL Michael Schofield (Not Injury Related) DNP, Montee Ball (Groin) DNP, RB Juwan Thompson (Knee) DNP, S David Bruton (Ankle) full, WR Andre Caldwell (Knee) full, CB Chris Hairs Jr. (Knee) full, LB Lerentee McCray (Knee) full, K Brandon McManus (Groin) Full.
Keys to the Game
No more 90-yard drives: This season the Jets have let up five 90-yard drives that lead to touchdowns. That is not characteristic of a Rex Ryan defense. Last week alone the Jets let up two. Those long clock-draining drives are back breakers to any defense and so far the Jets have been a team that has been giving them up left and right. Manning and this offense is the one of the best if not the best in the NFL. When the Jets pin the Broncos deep in their own territory they are going to have to keep them there. They cannot afford to give up these drives where quarterbacks have been slicing them up.
Run the Ball, Run the Ball, Run the Ball: I don’t know if I said it enough, RUN THE BALL. Against a quarterback like Manning you need to keep the ball out of his hands as much as possible. Running the ball effectively does that. If the Jets can establish a running game early and keep Manning off the field it would be a huge game-changer. When you run the ball you do not only use up clock, but you also set the pace of the game. The Jets are going to have to set that pace and dictate how this game will be played.
Pressure Manning: This has been a key to the game for about the past three weeks, but it is the only way the Jets win his game. The NFL unfortunately put the Jets up against a gauntlet of pro-bowl quarterbacks for the first seven weeks of the season. The Jets have to get into Manning’s face if they want to keep this game close. So far this season they have been doing that as they lead the league in sacks as a team. However that has not translated into wins. The problem is the Jets are not getting sacks at key moments of the game. When the Jets are in a tough spot they must get to Manning on those key downs and force him into making mistakes or at the very lest throwing the ball away.
Eric Decker: Decker did not play last week due to that hamstring and the Jets offense felt his loss in a big way. Decker has been Geno Smith’s go-to guy so far this season and not having him last week was a major problem. This week Decker will be paying against his former team in the Broncos and expect him to come out hungry and ready to prove why Denver should have paid him.
Antonio Allen: Allen was a huge disappointment last week. He had the assignment of covering Antonio Gates and let up two touchdowns to the future hall-a-famer. This week Allen will most likely be going up against a more athletic tight end in Julius Thomas. Allen is going to have to play a lot better than last week as you can expect Denver to target him, especially in the red zone.
Geno Smith: Smith is coming off one of the worst games of his career where he was benched at halftime. Smith hasn’t seemed like he has made the jump from year one to year two. The sophomore slump is in full affect right now for Smith and he can’t seem to get out of his own way. Smith must be on point this week going up against the Broncos. A lot of people like to ask the question: Is it you versus him at the quarterback position? This week it is. If the Jets want to beat the Broncos Smith is going to have to outplay Manning plain and simple.
Just so the readers now I did perfectly pick the score of the Jets vs. Packers game back in week two. Now I wont get to cocky coming into week six but I do like to pat myself on the back when I can. This week the Jets are going to literally have to play a perfect game in all three phases of the contest. I just don’t think right now they can do that. The Jets are just a bad team right now plain and simple. Going up against the Broncos, who are the best team in the AFC, is just going to be too much for the Jets. I am taking the Broncos over the Jets 28-14.