NY Jets aim to end three-game losing streak against visiting Denver Broncos

If New York Jets fans were looking for some tangible signs of improvement this season, they’re surely disappointed.

Gang Green now has lost three games in a row, combining for fewer points (41) in that span than they did in their dominant Week 1 victory over the Detroit Lions (48). On the heels of back-to-back 5-11 seasons, the first quarter of the season isn’t looking great for coach Todd Bowles’ job security.

But they can’t get better overnight. A win over the visiting Denver Broncos (2-2) would stop the bleeding and give the Jets a chance to turn things around. Here’s how they can get it done Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Roaring rookie

Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and face of the Jets future, has played … like a rookie. Which, of course, he is. Through four games, he’s completing 57.5 percent of his passes and has thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (four).

Darnold played quite effectively in his debut, but he has yet to put on a performance that could be a sign of future stardom. There’s plenty of time to do so, but a strong game against Denver would be a great way to get the ball rolling.

Key in on Keenum

The Broncos had hoped the offseason signing of Case Keenum would solve their post-Peyton Manning quarterback lull. So far, he hasn’t. His six interceptions are tied for second-most in the league, and his interception percentage ranks last among current starters who’ve played in at least three games this year.

The Week 1 win in Detroit showed the Jets are capable of making quarterbacks pay; they picked off Lions passers five times that night. However, they’ve managed just one during their three-game skid. If they’re going to end the slide, cornerback Trumaine Johnson and the secondary must come alive in a big way Sunday.

Restrict the run

Denver can boast of perhaps the most unlikely-but-potent backfield duo in the league: rookies Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman.

While Freeman was prolific in college, Lindsay entered training camp as an undrafted afterthought. Now, they average 5.0 and 5.9 yards per carry, respectively, and the Broncos are No. 2 in the NFL in rushing offense.

The Jets’ defensive line, anchored by nose tackle Steve McLendon, is surrendering a stout 3.8 yards per carry this season. Another strong effort by the D-line could contain the rookies and tip the scales in the Jets’ favor.

Scott’s prediction

Broncos 21, Jets 17