Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets Week 11 Preview

Broncos Running back Lance Ball could have a busy evening against the New York Jets on Thursday. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos return home with a short respite before the New York Jets come to visit for a Thursday Night contest. The Broncos are 4-5 after visiting the Kansas City Chiefs and coming away with a 17-10 victory. The Jets are 5-4 and coming off a tough loss at the hands of the New England Patriots. Both teams are tied for 2nd place in their respective divisions and one game back from the leaders. The Jets need a win to keep pace with the Patriots and stay alive for any postseason ambitions, while the Broncos are merely trying to return to respectability and a winning record in a rebuilding year.

Weather and Conditions

The game is set for 6:20 PM MST on Thursday November 17th at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. It will be broadcast nationally on the NFL Network and locally on FOX/WB. Brad Nessler will call the play by play and Mike Mayock will do the color commentary.

The weather forecast at post time was:

Mostly Sunny
Temperature: 33/60f

For the current weather conditions please check here.

 Injuries and external factors

The Jets have lost their fair share of players to Injured Reserve. The one that hurts most, is starter LB Bryan Thomas (Achilles). C Taylor Boggs (Torn ACL), QB Greg McElroy (Right thumb), TE Jeff Cumberland (Achilles), OT Robert Turner (Ankle), WR Logan Payne  (Wrist) are the other players missing for New York.

Safety Brodney Pool (Knee) has already been ruled out for the game, which isn't that surprising considering the short week and him being on the Inactive list last week.

Among the other Inactives for last week, were TE Shawn Nelson, who did not participate Monday or Tuesday because of an Illness. He is Questionable for the game. DE Kenrick Ellis, QB Kevin O'Connell, RB Bilal Powell, WR Eron Riley and NT Martin Tevaseu NT were the others. There is a good chance that former Bronco Eron Riley will make his debut in Denver. Just not in a Bronco uniform.


This chart represents the Rankings for the Jets Offense as compared to the Broncos Defense. I have also included last week's rankings for the Broncos so you can see progress or regress. The DVOA stat is taken from Football Outsiders and is explained here.

Jets Broncos
Offense Rank Category Rank Defense Last Week
23.9 14th Points For 30th 26 31st
314.1 23rd Total Yds 18th 360.7 22nd
216 20th Pass Yds 20th 243.1 23rd
98.1 24th Rush Yds 16th 117.6 15th
23 T-21st Sacks T-8th 24 T-11th
N/A N/A Forced Fumbles T-17th 7 T-18th
9 T-13th Interceptions T-23rd 6 T-21st
47/118 (40%) 12th 3rd Downs 19th 44/118 (37%) 16th
6.30% 13th Overall DVOA 24th -3.10% 17th
1 13th Turnover Margin 24th -5 T-23rd
45 20th QB Hits Allowed N/A N/A N/A


The Jets are led by Quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has a 56.7 Completion rate, 2,081 yards, 14 TDs (+3 Rushing TDs), 9 INTs and a QB Rating of 81.5. The running game is led by Shonn Greene (563 yds, a 3.9 avg, 2 TDs and 16 Rec. for 91 yds), LaDainian Tomlinson (167 yds, 3.6 avg, 1 TD and 25 rec, 312 yds, 1 TD). Joe McKnight (19 car, 53 yds and 2 Rec, 29 yds) and Rookie Bilal Powell are the 3rd and 4th options. The Fullbacks are John  Conner (7 car, 26 yds, 1 TD and one 9 yd catch) and Josh Baker (1 rec, 5 yds).

The Receivers are Plaxico Burress (26 Rec, 361 yds, 6 TDs), Santonio Holmes (31 Rec, 433 yds, 4 TDs), Rookie Jeremy Kerley (17 Rec, 184 yds, 1 TD) Patrick Turner (1 Rec, 22 yds) and former Bronco Eron Riley. The Tight Ends are Dustin Keller (31 Rec, 473 yds, 2 TDs), Matthew Mulligan (3 Rec, 12 yds) and Shawn Nelson.

The Offensive Linemen are LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (1 False Start Penalty, 2 Sacks Allowed), LG Matt Slauson (1 FS, 1 Hold, 1,5 SA), C Nick Mangold (3 Penalties2 Hold, 2 SA), RG Brandon Moore (6 Penalties, 2 FS, 2 Hold, 2 SA) and a RT platoon of Wayne Hunter (6 Pen, 3 FS, 1 Hold, 4 SA) and Vladimir Ducasse (1 FS. 0.5 SA).

Sanchez's 14 TD passes against 9 INTs are okay, but expectations were greater coming into his 3rd year. He us still staring down receivers and is unable to quickly get through his progressions to get the ball to his secondary reads. RT Wayne Hunter will have his hands full with Robert Ayers and Von Miller. The rest of the Jets O-Line is stout.


This chart represents the Rankings for the Jets Defense as compared to the Broncos Offense.

Jets Broncos
Defense Rank Category Rank Offense Last Week
22.2 16th Points Against 21st 20.9 21st
326.8 8th Total Yds 22nd 318.1 20th
210.8 8th Pass Yds 31st 159.9 31st
116 15th Rush Yds 2nd 158.2 5th
18 T-23rd Sacks 21st 23 26th
11 T-5th Forced Fumbles N/A N/A N/A
13 T-4th Interceptions T-20th 8 T-15th
36/115 (32%) 2nd 3rd Downs 24th 39/116 (34%) 24th
-16.50% 2nd Overall DVOA 19th 10.10% 24th
59/504 T-15th Penalties T-24th 54/481 27th
N/A N/A QB Hits Allowed 13th 41 10th


The Jets run a 3-4 Base look personnel on their front 7. The Linemen are LDE Rookie Muhammad Wilkerson (25 TKL, 1 SK, 1 PD), NT Sione Pouha (33 TKL, 1 FF) and RDE Mike DeVito (22 TKL, 1 SK, 1 FF).Ropati Pitoitua (13 TKL, 1 SK) is in the rotation as well.

The Outside Linebackers are  Jamaal Westerman (18 TKL, 2.5 SK, 1 FR) on the left and Calvin Pace (42 TKL, 3 SK, 2 FF, 1 INT) on the right. Aaron Maybin (5 TKL, 3 SK, 3 FF) backs up Pace.

On the Inside are Bart Scott (40 TKL, 2.5 SK, 1 FF) on the left and David Harris (48 TKL, 2 SK, 4 PD, 2 INT, 1 TD) on the right.

The Cornerbacks are Darrelle Revis (28 TKL, 12 PD4 INT, 1 TD) and Antonio Cromartie (27 TKL, 8 PD, 3 INT, 1 FF). Kyle Wilson (26 TKL, 2 PD, 1 INT), Marquice Cole (9 TKL), Donald Strickland (25 TKL, 3 PD), Isaiah Trufant   and Ellis Lankster round out this unit.

The Strong Safeties are Jim Leonhard (34 TKL, 2 PD. 1 FF) and Emanuel Cook. The Free Safeties are Eric Smith (55 TKL, 1.5 SK, 3 PD, 1 INT) and Brodney Pool (20 TKL, 0.5 SK).

New York has the best Defense that the Broncos will face during the regular season in 2011, even though their Run Defense is middle of the pack. They have only allowed 5 passing touchdowns this season. Three have come at the expense of CB Antonio Cromartie. The Jets Defense will need to play more disciplined than it did Sunday against the Patriots on Sunday, even if they know what's coming.



This chart represents the Rankings for both teams Special Teams Units.

Jets Rank Special Teams Rank Broncos Last Week
43.7 23rd Punt-Avg(Gross) 5th 49
38.1 21st Punt-Avg (Net) 2nd 42.6
8.6 20th Punt Ret-Avg 3rd 16.4
8.94 PR-Avg Allowed 9.53
28.9 2nd Kick Ret-Avg 9th 25.6
19.7 2nd KR-Avg Allowed 6th 21.4
12/14 86% FG Made/Att 64% 9/14
6.70% 3rd Overall DVOA 8th 2.10% 8th


Kicker Nick Folk is 12/14 on Field Goal tries (85.7) with a long of 50. He has made all 25 Extra Point Attempts. Nick's Kickoffs average landing spot is the 5 yard line and out of 46 kickoffs, 12 were touchbacks and 33 were returned an average of 19.7 yards.

T.J. Conley has 49 punts with a gross average of 43.7 and a net of 38.1 yards. His longest was 63 yards. 9 have been downed, 5 have gone for a touchback, 13 have been Fair Caught and  19 have been returned an average of 8.95 yards.

The Long Snapper for the Jets is 2nd year man Tanner Purdum. On February 5, 2010, New York signed Purdum to a 3 year contract after incumbent long snapper James Dearth, who was an Unrestricted FA at the time, had a few snaps that were off the mark in 2009. He has a masters degree in education from Baker University(Kansas). Tanner is 6-3, 270 and has 1 career Tackle.

The Holder for place kicks is veteran backup quarterback Mark Brunell, who might just be the only backup QB in the league that is a holder.

The Kick Returner is primarily Joe McKnight (15 KR, a 40.2 avg, including a 107-yd TD). Antonio Cromartie (7 KR, 23.6 avg, 46 Long) has returned a few as well and if McKnight can't play, Cro will be the returner and Jeremy Kerley (1 KR, 15 yds) will back him up.

The primary Punt Returner for the Jets is Jeremy Kerley (16 PR, 7 Fair Caught, 9.9 avg. and a long of 53), although Joe McKnight (4 PR, 6.5 avg.) has played there too. Jim Leonhard (1 PR, 12 yds) will be the 2nd option if McKnight does not suit up.

McKnight was used as a punt returner against the Patriots because the Jets were hoping for a big play. Instead, his muff set up a New England field goal. McKnight has been much more effective on kickoff returns than on punt returns.


The Broncos have a 16-15-1 record against the Jets (11-7 at Home). The last matchup was a year ago in Week 6. The Jets prevailed that day 24-20 on 2 LaDainian Tomlinson touchdown runs. The Broncos should have won that game too, but Renaldo Hill was called for pass interference at the Denver 2 on Jets receiver Santonio Holmes, setting up LaDainian Tomlinson's winning touchdown. Denver has won 6 out of the last 10 meetings and is 4-2 at home during the same stretch.            

The line in Vegas has the Jets favored by 5 points


The Jets have a better Offense than the Broncos Defense, even though the Denver "D" has been tightening. New York QB Mark Sanchez gets hit a lot, but despite that, hasn't thrown that many picks comparably. The edge goes to the Broncos in the rushing department and the Jets in the passing department. New York gets the nod on Special Teams. This one will be a difficult game for the Broncos and I firmly believe it all comes down to one word -- Execution. Each team knows what the other will do. The one who executes the best, will emerge victorious.
Go Broncos!                    

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