Previewing the opposition: Denver Broncos

For the second week in a row, the Jets are facing a team in disarray. The Broncos have lost eight games in a row, scoring 20 points just once in that span - a 51-23 loss to the Eagles. Can they take advantage again though? It won't be easy, on the road and at altitude against a Denver team desperate for a win.

Let's review how their roster shapes up:


The Broncos' quarterback play has been poor this year. Trevor Siemian is back under center having previously been benched for Brock Osweiler. Youngster Paxton Lynch, who also got his shot, was injured and the Broncos apparently intend to stick with Siemian the rest of the way, even if Lynch is ready to return.

Broncos quarterbacks have combined to throw just 14 touchdowns and 18 interceptions this year and Siemian -who has also lost two fumbles - has completed less than 60 percent of his passes overall. However, he had completed over 60 percent of his passes in each of their first four games as he led the team to a 3-1 start.

Offensive line

The Broncos' offensive line has also come in for a lot of criticism and they won't be helped by Ron Leary's absence this weekend. The veteran has been ruled out again with a back issue and 2016 fifth round pick Connor McGovern really struggled in his place last week.

Since losing Menelik Watson to an injury, the Broncos have also had issues at right tackle. They currently list "Donald Stephenson - OR - Allen Barbre" as the starter. Stephenson got the nod last week after Barbre had been struggling.

There's at least some semblence of continuity on the rest of the line, although the left side has also struggled. First round rookie Garrett Bolles has given up 11 penalties and seven sacks at left tackle and left guard Max Garcia is struggling in pass protection and as a run blocker. Barbre is also an option there.

Veteran center Matt Paradis is having a solid season, to his credit. He's an adept blocker on screen passes.

Running Backs

In the running game, CJ Anderson leads the team with 652 yards, as he and veteran Jamaal Charles are both averaging over four yards per carry. Anderson is one of three Broncos with three total touchdowns. Nobody has more than that though.

2016 fourth round pick Devontae Booker is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry but has caught 29 passes.

The fullback is another second year player, Andy Janovich.


Despite the struggles on offense, the Broncos have an impressive crop of pass catching options, led by Demaryius Thomas, who leads the team with 60 catches. His overall production is down this year and he's been less of a downfield threat, averaging a career-low 11 yards per carry.

Emmanuel Sanders is dealing with an ankle injury but practiced on a limited basis on Friday. Sanders has also had his lowest yards per catch average since signing with the Broncos in 2014.

The third receiver is Bennie Fowler but he has just five catches in the last five games as he seems to have been overtaken on the depth chart by Cody Latimer.

At tight end, Virgil Green has just 13 catches but leads the team in yards per reception. Jeff Heuerman backs him up.

Defensive line

The Broncos defensive line suffered a blow this week as Derek Wolfe, one of their best run stuffers, landed on injured reserve. Another starter, Adam Gotsis, was ill on Friday and has been listed as questionable. To make matters worse, nose tackle Domata Peko has a knee injury, although he returned to practice on a limited basis on Friday.

334-pounder Zach Kerr has done a good job in reserve in recent weeks, so he'd be a potential replacement for Peko. At defensive end, a former Jet - Shelby Harris - has been playing well all year and should get a lot of opportunities to build on his 3.5 sack season.

The only other defensive lineman on the team is Domata's cousin, Kyle Peko. He isn't very experienced though.


The Broncos continue to be led by Von Miller, who should provide another tough match-up for Brandon Shell. Miller has nine sacks and has been excellent against the run. Shane Ray is listed as the other starter, although his back-up, Shaquil Barrett, has been more effective and is second on the team with four sacks.

On the inside, Brandon Marshall leads the team in snaps and tackles but he's not having a great season overall. Todd Davis has had a good season alongside him against the run, but can be exploited in coverage.

Zaire Anderson is the primary reserve on the inside and second round pick DeMarcus Walker backs up on the edge but hasn't played much yet.

Defensive backs

The Broncos have some talent at the cornerback positions, led by Aqib Talib, who can play after having his recent two game suspension reduced to one. Chris Harris - regarded as one of the league's best cover corners - gets the majority of the slot reps. Bradley Roby has also done an excellent job.

Last year's third round pick Justin Simmons is having a good season at safety with 68 tackles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Darian Stewart is the other starter, but he leads the team with 12 missed tackles.

Third safety Will Parks also gets plenty of playing time off the bench.

Special teams

The conditions at altitude are a constant factor in the Broncos' success in the kicking game but kicker Brandon McManus and punter Riley Dixon are decent in their own right. However, McManus has missed six field goals and is surprisingly not among the leaders in total touchbacks, while Dixon is in the top 10 for return yardage allowed.

Their punt returner, Isaiah McKenzie, is dangerous, but he's fumbled a handful of times and last week embarrassingly cost the team a safety with another blunder. On kickoffs, Booker is the primary return man with Latimer backing him up, but neither has done much yet.

In kick coverage, Janovich and Simmons have been their most productive tacklers.