The Jets have a big challenge ahead against the Broncos
Jets coach Rex Ryan has his hands full Thursday night in Denver: short week, coming off a huge, huge loss to the Patriots, and now with the task of getting his 5-4 team on track before even the wild-card race that the Jets have relegated themselves to slips away.
The Jets need this win against a Denver squad that has won three of four and could draw even record-wise with Ryan's group via a win. Their current divisional tie with Buffalo already creates tenuous playoff hopes. But the fact that they're a game behind Baltimore and Cincinnati, and tied with Tennessee, makes this a must-win.
The Broncos have won two straight under running quarterback Tim Tebow, so they won't be a pushover in noisy Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Here are three things the Jets will have to address if they want to keep the emotional Ryan's loose vocabulary in check.
Close down Tebow: The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner is actually running a college offense. But the read-option is working. The Jets' defense will have to be aware that the wildly inaccurate Tebow (47-of-105, 605 yards, seven TDs, one INT) looks to run at all times - as does the entire Broncos offense.
Make Up For LT: The rushing load will be on featured back Shonn Greene and backup Joe McKnight now that LaDainian Tomlinson is out with a left MCL sprain. Greene must make good yardage on first and second down to keep the heat off Mark Sanchez.
Stop Fumbling: That means you, McKnight! The Jets can't afford to give the Broncos field position with a muffed punt. Give Tebow a few shots in the red zone and he may be no match for the Jets' middle-of-the-pack run defense.