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Broncos at Jets preview: Denver looks to avoid consecutive 0-4 starts

The Broncos now enter Thursday night’s game as the underdog, here’s our keys to the game against the Jets.

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Brett Rypien, come on down.

Rypien will become the ninth starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos since Peyton Manning retired in 2015. That is almost as long as the list of injured Broncos right now.

That’s pretty much the state of affairs as the 0-3 Broncos head to East Rutherford, New Jersey, to face the 0-3 New York Jets. Denver is looking to avoid back-to-back 0-4 starts on Thursday Night Football.

BetMGM currently has the Broncos at a +1 underdog. That probably says more about the Jets than it does Denver, but I digress. How Thursday’s game unfolds will tell Broncos Country a lot about what the remainder of the 2020 season has in store for the Broncos.

On the MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and I previewed the Week 4 game, gave our players to watch and keys to the game.

Offensive Rankings

Denver: Twenty-ninth in overall offense (289.3 yards per game), 29th in rushing (84.3), 27th in passing (205.5), 30th in scoring offense (15.0 points per game).

New York Jets: Thirty-second in overall offense (263.7 yards per game), 28th in rushing (88.3), 31st in passing (175.3), 32nd in scoring offense (12.3 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

Denver: Twentieth in overall in defense (380.0 yards per game), seventh in rushing defense (102.3), 29th in passing defense (277.7), 12th in scoring defense (23.3 points per game).

New York Jets: Seventeenth overall defense (372.0 yards per game), 24th in rushing defense (133.0), 15th in passing defense (239.0), tied for 27th in scoring defense (31.3).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Thursday’s game.

Run the football

The Broncos need to run the ball on offense. I’m not saying Denver needs to go all Tim Tebow against the Kansas City Chiefs, but close. Run the ball. That will take the pressure off of Rypien and set up the rest of the offense. The good news is the Jets are horrible against the run. — Ian St. Clair

Tank

— Tim Lynch

Do your job

Last week I said stay healthy. With two more starters now on IR in Jurell Casey and Elijah Wilkinson, the team clearly didn’t listen. So I guess I’ve got to double down. Let’s get some bubble wrap layered up under those jerseys and pads, yeah? More directly ... all I know about the Jets is that they’re a really bad football team. A bad football team with a meme for a head coach and a quarterback whose thousand-yard stare is starting to get concerning. The Broncos are half of a decent football team, so ... do your jobs. If Denver just executes its assignments, it’ll win this game at least. — Taylor Kothe

Don’t give up big plays

Last time Denver lost to an inferior Jets team, it gave up big plays in the passing game. The secondary is probably the most established part of the team at this point, with Michael Ojemudia having a bounce back game and three veterans back there. The Broncos need to set the tone and limit Sam Darnold’s opportunities. Don’t give him any freebies. — Jeff Essary

“Teams” need to be “special”

When things are this bad, it’s hard to find a key to the game that will really make a difference. However, be efficient in special teams. That’s been a huge issue for the Broncos for a long time. Playing complimentary football, and having all three phases be effective means special teams has to show up and not suck. I’m not sure a Tom McMahon coached special teams group can do that, but maybe. — Adam Malnati

What are your keys to Thursday’s game?

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