The Denver Broncos are off to a remarkable start through the first two weeks of the NFL season, and they’re primed to continue this streak, as they have the New York Jets coming to town for the home opener.
What must the Broncos do to avoid the embarrassing upset, and improve to 3-0 for the first time in a half-decade? Let’s look.
How the Broncos beat the Jets
Attack New York’s poor secondary: TheJets might have the worst secondary in the entire NFL, and the Broncos would be wise to challenge that unit early and often.
The best member of their secondary, is Marcus Maye, a somewhat above average safety. Outside of him, it’s a dumpster fire that prominently features Adrian Colbert, Brandin Echols, Bryce Hall, and rookie Michael Carter II in prominent starting roles.
We are likely to experience some Teddy Bridgewater regression here soon but don’t bet on that regression to begin this week.
Eliminate the quick game: The Jets’ offense matches up very poorly with the Broncos’ defense. From the Jets’ perspective, it’s very hard to find a matchup that appears to be worth exploiting.
On top of that, the offensive line should be overwhelmed by Denver’s defensive front, even with the loss of Bradley Chubb.
Over the first two weeks of the season, the New York offense has become very reliant on quick throws to Braxton Berrios and Elijah Moore. If the Broncos can take away those quick options, and force Zach Wilson to sit in the pocket and deal with pressure, they should be able to create multiple takeaways.
How the Jets beat the Broncos
Quinnen Williams feasts on Broncos’ dreadful IOL: All over the roster, members of the Denver Broncos are greatly outperforming their expectations, from quarterback to inside linebacker.
However, the same can’t be said for the guard or center positions, where the Broncos have been absolutely horrible.
Denver desperately needed Lloyd Cushenberry III to take a leap in year two after an abysmal rookie season, and so far, he only looks slightly improved. Meanwhile, Dalton Risner, the hometown hero who we all want to see succeed, has continued to struggle in Pat Shurmur’s system.
It’s to the point where the Broncos should seriously consider trading Risner to a team where he would be a better fit before he hurts his value anymore with more bad play.
Now, that duo will be tasked with blocking Quinnen Williams, who is a force to be reckoned with. Williams is a masterful run stuffer and excellent interior pass-rusher. Aaron Donald is in a tier of his own, but Williams is in the tier right below that.
After how badly this unit struggled with a pretty lackluster Jacksonville interior pass rush, it’s fair to be concerned about what Williams could accomplish.
Bad special teams play continues: As previously stated, a lot of aspects on this Denver Broncos roster are outperforming expectations. The one that is underperforming the most, however, continues to be the special teams run by Tom McMahon.
At this point, there are no valid excuses left for McMahon to fall back on.
For whatever reason, this unit is in utter disarray and is a liability to sacrifice points each-and-every week. That’s bad news as a special teams touchdown is one of the biggest single-play turning points that can possibly happen.
Final Thoughts and Score Prediction
The potential for the interior offensive line and special teams to blow this game is certainly there and shouldn’t be overlooked, but ultimately, the Broncos should be able to cruise to a victory.
There’s just too great a disparity in talent, favoring the Broncos, at far too many positions.
Denver’s secondary should thoroughly suffocate New York’s pass catchers, and Ty Johnson doesn’t scare you much on the ground. Plus, the Jets have a rookie quarterback coming off a four-interception game and a bad offensive line that is down their best offensive lineman.
Denver’s pass-catchers should thoroughly torch New York’s secondary, and their ground game should give New York’s second-level defenders headaches all game long, if Risner and Co. can do enough up front.
Plus, Mile High Stadium is sure to be rocking.
Final Score Prediction: Broncos 30, Jets 9.