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.
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.
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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.
|47/118 (40%)||12th||3rd Downs||19th||44/118 (37%)||16th|
|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.
|36/115 (32%)||2nd||3rd Downs||24th||39/116 (34%)||24th|
|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 PD, 4 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|
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.
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.
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.