The Jets will travel out west to Denver to face a Broncos team Sunday that holds a 3-9 record and has lost eight straight games.
Denver's struggles predominantly start on offense as its defense ranks No. 5 in the NFL. The offense ranks 23rd in the league in total yards, averaging 315 yards per game. Additionally, the Broncos post 17.2 points per game, which ranks 27th.
"I think head coach Vance Joseph said it best. He's just looking for a fair game," Aric DiLalla said on The Official Jets Podcast Game Preview. "Because if you look at this eight-game losing streak, there's been so many times the Broncos have turned it over in the first quarter or have had the ball on the goal line and throw a pick that gets returned to the opposite 1-yard line. What ends up happening is they get behind a couple scores and they're not built on offense to come back from that. Also, this defense, which has been so good the last few seasons, hasn't been able to hold teams when necessary."
There has been a revolving door under center for the Broncos this season as they've given the nod to Trevor Siemian, who will start against the Jets, Brock Osweiler and second-year gunslinger Paxton Lynch. Siemian has thrown for 2,018 yards, 11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while completing 59.3% of his passes in nine games this year. His top weapons are wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who have registered 60 receptions for 678 yards and 40 for 471, respectively.
The Broncos still have a formidable defense as they rank No. 4 against the pass and No. 5 against the rush. Their secondary is led by a pair of former Kansas Jayhawks in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, who are arguably the best cornerback duo in the league. In 2017, they've combined for 12 pass defenses and three interceptions. Up front, Von Miller remains one of the premiere rushers in the NFL and the five-time Pro Bowler paces the Broncos with nine sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 18 quarterback hits.
"The thing opposing teams have done well when they've had success against the Broncos is targeting the tight end," DiLalla said. "The Broncos have had a lot of trouble stopping the tight end position…and they've allowed a lot of touchdowns to tight ends. I think the other thing is simple crossing routes. A lot of teams aren't going after Aqib Talib or Chris Harris, it's not like those guys are getting burnt. But when you're up 10-0, like most of the Broncos opponents have been, you don't have to take chances against those guys, you can take the dump-off pass."
Offensive Matchup to Watch: Jets Ground Game vs. Broncos Rush Defense
The Jets have averaged 35 rushing attempts in games they've won this season and they had a season-high 49 carries against the Chiefs last Sunday. The run game helped offense's third-down attack as they converted 65%. This weekend, the offense will face the league's second best third-down defense in the Broncos, who also feature a top rush defense. It's important for the Green & White to stay committed to the ground game to open things up through the air and on third down.
Defensive Matchup to Watch: Jets OL vs. Von Miller
Earlier this week, Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum praised second-year RT Brandon Shell and the job he did against Chiefs OLB Justin Houston. This weekend's task could be much more difficult if Miller is across from him. Miller can be extremely disruptive, so containing the 6'3", 250-pounder will be key for the Jets, especially making sure quarterback Josh McCown has a clean pocket to work with.