NFL Football

37
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Denver 3 14 7 13 37
NY Jets 7 6 3 12 28
28
5:20 PM PT6:20 PM MT7:20 PM CT8:20 PM ET0:20 GMT8:20 5:20 PM MST7:20 PM EST7:20 PM CT4:20 UAE (+1)20:20 ET23:20 , October 1, 2020
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey  Weather: 64°, Cloudy  Attendance: 0

Broncos-Jets Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Denver Broncos at New York Jets

  1. After a 28-10 loss to the Buccaneers in Week 3, the Broncos are looking to avoid starting 0-4 for the second consecutive season. Denver had started 0-4 in just three seasons prior to 2019 (1999, 1994 1964).
  2. After a 36-7 loss to the Colts in Week 3, the Jets still have yet to hold a lead at any point this season. Since 2006, New York is one of six teams that hasn't led in any of its first three games of the season (2019 Dolphins, 2017 Browns, 2011 Chiefs, 2008 Chiefs, 2008 Rams).
  3. In the most recent meeting between the two teams (October 7, 2018), the Jets defeated the Broncos by 18 points, their largest win in the series since 1965 (35-point win). New York rushed for 323 yards in the victory, its second most in any game all-time (333 yards versus New England in 1972).
  4. Since 2019, the Broncos (0-7) and the Jets (0-6) have a combined 0-13 record and are the only teams that have lost in each game played during the month of September. Denver went 7-5 last year post September while New York went 7-6.
  5. After throwing just two pick-6s in his 28 career games prior, Sam Darnold had two of his three interceptions returned for touchdowns in the Week 3 loss to the Colts. The Jets are 0-7 when Darnold throws multiple interceptions (11-11 in all other games).
  6. Noah Fant is one of three tight ends leading their team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns this season (T.J. Hockenson -- Det, Darren Waller -- LV). Only two Denver tight ends have ever finished a season leading the team in these three categories -- Shannon Sharpe in 1993 and 1996, and Riley Odoms in 1974 and 1978.
Team Comparison

Denver
 
New York
15.0 Points 12.3
240.3 Pass Yds 187.3
84.3 Rush Yds 88.3
2 Takeaways 3
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Banged up, struggling and desperate for a win.

That describes both the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, who'll square off Thursday night at MetLife Stadium with their seasons spiraling, coaches on the hot seat and rosters ravaged by injuries.

Yeah, this might not exactly be a meaty matchup for a prime-time TV audience. But, the results of this game could have intriguing consequences.

"We understand the situation we're in," Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. "We can't change anything that's happened. All we can do is look forward and prepare for our next game, which is coming here quickly on Thursday. I think our attitude is good."

The Broncos and Jets are both 0-3 for the second straight season, and each is looking to avoid dropping their first four games in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history. Barring a tie, it's about to get worse for one of them.

The woeful starts have made Fangio and Jets coach Adam Gase the targets of plenty of criticism and cast some doubts on their long-term futures with their teams. Speculation has been flying that Gase could be out as soon as Friday if the Jets lose.

"For me, I have to do a great job of making sure that I keep our players in the right headspace," Gase said. "When a lot of negativity is coming at you and things are hard, that's when everybody's character has to really show up and they've got to go to work and we've got to get it fixed."

That's easier said than done, of course.

The Jets have been inept on offense, and Sam Darnold has not played like a quarterback on the verge of taking the next step in his third year. The defense has also been alarmingly porous. New York's injury list is longer than a shopping receipt, with Le'Veon Bell, Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims among those sidelined.

The Broncos have had similar issues on all counts. Their roster sported a combined 18 Pro Bowls when the 53-man roster was finalized. Now, it has just Melvin Gordon's pair of all-star appearances after Von Miller, Jurell Casey, Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay and A.J. Bouye all got hurt.

They're also about to start their third straight different quarterback. Brett Rypien will make his first NFL start, going Thursday night in place of the benched Jeff Driskel - who had taken the place last week of the injured Drew Lock.

"No matter who we're playing, right now, we definitely need a win," said Rypien, the nephew of 1992 Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien.

SAM THE MAN?

Darnold's performance last week, when he threw three interceptions and had two returned for touchdowns at Indianapolis, has many wondering if he can be the franchise quarterback the Jets expected when they made him the No. 3 overall pick in 2018.

"He's like everybody in this profession, he does not like to lose," Gase said. "It just eats at him and I love the fact that it just drives him to just keep coming into the building and trying to find ways to improve. I can see it on his face after that last game, like he was (angry).

"He was not only mad at the score, but just kind of how it went down and things that he knows that he can do better and things that may have been out of his control that we've just got to move on from and we can't hang on to. I think that's what I love about him."

WORLD OF HURT

The Broncos have lost six starters and three backups to IR, and that doesn't even include Lock, whom they're keeping on the active roster so he can attend practice and get mental reps.

The injured Broncos are making a combined $53.4 million this season, by far the highest IR payroll in the NFL and nearly $20 million more than the runner-up Dallas Cowboys at $33.5 million.

FANGIO FLOP?

Fangio is 7-12 through his first 19 games, same as Gase's record with the Jets. Fangio is the first of the Broncos' 14 head coaches ever to post back-to-back winless Septembers.

The Broncos had just one winless September in the previous 48 years when Fangio hit all the red lights in starting 0-4 in 2019. Before that, the last Broncos head coach who went into October still searching for his first win was Wade Phillips in 1994.

GROUNDED JETS

It's only three games and injuries have been a major reason, but New York's offense has sputtered to start the season.

The Jets rank last in the NFL in total yards, scoring, yards passing yards, first downs and red-zone efficiency. They're also second-to-last in total touchdowns, third-down conversions and yards per play.

O-LINE SHUFFLE

The Broncos have allowed a whopping 13 sacks in the past two weeks, but it took Elijah Wilkinson's shin injury to force a change up front.

Denver is inserting 12th-year veteran Demar Dotson into the right tackle spot. He joined the team in the summer but couldn't unseat Wilkinson, who was coming off an offseason ankle operation.

"He's probably played 10,000 snaps at right tackle in this league, so we feel good about putting him in there," Fangio said. "He had a good camp with us."

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AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton in Englewood, Colorado, contributed.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated October 1, 2020

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