Jets vs. Broncos: 5 Matchups That Could Prove Successful for Jets

Louis Musto@LouisMustoContributor IIINovember 17, 2011

Jets vs. Broncos: 5 Matchups That Could Prove Successful for Jets

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    The New York Jets enter Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium in hopes of putting a stop to the surging Denver Broncos and their superstar quarterback, Tim Tebow. Meanwhile, the Jets have their sights on a playoff spot after faltering in Week 10 at home against the New England Patriots.

    The Jets' season appears to be teetering on the brink while Tebow has given life to a Broncos team that was on life support itself before implementing him at the quarterback position, winning three of the last four.

    Both teams enter Week 11 in a must-win situation. Both teams have the opportunity to continue in their march to be a playoff contender. This is a big game for both teams.

    With so much on the line, let’s look at five matchups that could work in the Jets’ favor against Tebow and the Broncos.

Run Defense vs. Willis McGahee

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    After a rough start for the New York Jets defense against the run, it has stepped it up big and is allowing just 78 yards per game on the ground the past two weeks against the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.

    Like the Bills, the Denver Broncos are a phenomenal running team and could present some trouble for any team they are scheduled to face. Luckily, the Jets appear to be back on track as a great defense when stuffing the run, something that has become a trademark of this Jets defense under head coach Rex Ryan.

    With starting running back Knowshon Moreno out for the season and Willis McGahee listed as a game-time decision, the Jets could have themselves an easier path to victory against the NFL’s second-best rushing attack.

Shonn Greene vs. Broncos Run Defense

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    With LaDainian Tomlinson likely out, third-year running back Shonn Greene is going to be expected to shoulder the load for the Jets on the ground against the Broncos’ average run defense.

    In Week 10, the Broncos allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to rush for 5.6 yards per carry while using young, inexperienced backs Jackie Battle and Dexter McCluster—granted, the Chiefs do have the NFL’s 10th-ranked rushing attack despite losing their starting running back Jamaal Charles early in the season.

    Greene has struggled this season to really get anything going, and week after week the hopes amongst Jets fans is that he will finally break out. The Jets’ Week 10 game against the New England Patriots was a great start—he rushed for 4.7 yards a carry—but his carries were limited because the Jets were chasing the Pats most of the evening. This would be the game to finally have that huge breakout game for the Jets, stealing the show right out from under Tim Tebow and the surging Broncos.

Plaxico Burress vs. Andre' Goodman

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    It is pretty likely Santonio Holmes will be blanketed by cornerback Champ Bailey much of the evening, meaning Plaxico Burress will have the tall task of being Mark Sanchez’s go-to receiver vs. the Broncos.

    Burress’ six-inch advantage over 10-year veteran corner Andre’ Goodman should prove to be a very good matchup for the Jets when they turn to the air, and Burress is going to need to make the best of every opportunity he has to utilize his size—Goodman stands at just 5'10".

    Burress has been coming along nicely after a slow start to the season, including a three-touchdown game against the San Diego Chargers four weeks ago. Burress’ size should make him automatic target when the Jets enter the red zone, especially if he is covered by the much-shorter Goodman.

Mark Sanchez vs. Broncos Pass Defense

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    Mark Sanchez comes into Week 11 with four interception in the Jets’ last four games. After a good performance against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9, Sanchez stumbled at home against the New England Patriots, throwing two picks en route to a terrible 37-16 loss.

    This week, Sanchez has an easier task against the Broncos and their 20th-ranked pass defense. Sanchez won’t be asked to do too much in the cold, Denver night, but what he is asked to do, he should have no trouble with.

    Outside of Champ Bailey, the Broncos field one of the less impressive secondaries in the NFL. With a big height advantage in Plaxico Burress (see the previous slide) and the ever-dependable Dustin Keller, Sanchez should be able to have a solid day for the Jets through the air as long as the Jets’ offensive line can keep him protected—the Broncos are ninth in the NFL in sacks with 24.

Darrelle Revis vs. Tim Tebow

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    Tim Tebow has had enough trouble passing the ball since he took over as the Broncos’ starting quarterback in Week 7. Add in the NFL’s premier defensive back, Darrelle Revis, and it’s going to be a long night for the second-year quarterback from Florida.

    In Week 10, the Broncos allowed Tebow to pass just eight times—don’t be surprised if he throws even less against Revis and the Jets.

    It’s clear the Broncos don’t trust Tebow to pass the ball. Passing the ball with the NFL’s best cornerback since Deion Sanders on the field could prove very costly for Tebow and the Broncos. It would be very surprising to see Tebow take a shot and test Revis, despite Revis’ comments about the Broncos’ “boring” offense, because this test with Revis is one the former Heisman Trophy winner will most definitely fail.

    With Revis cutting the field in half, Tebow has even less to work with in a passing attack that has sputtered terribly in recent weeks. With Antonio Cromartie on the other side of the field, the Broncos pass offense should be completely shut down in Week 11.