The New York Jets look to bounce back from their loss to the New England Patriots when they travel to Denver to face a Broncos squad that have won three of their last four games, on Thursday night.
The Broncos have become one of the hot topics of the 2011 NFL season because of their high-profile quarterback who has delivered mixed results.
Last week, Tim Tebow threw just eight passes, and completed just two of them. However, one of the two passes was a 56-yard strike to Eric Decker that was the difference in the 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tebow, who has a passer rating of 81.7, and has won three-of-four games as a starter, has completed less than 45 percent of his passes. The 24-year-old quarterback only has one interception, but his performance in the 45-10 loss to the Detroit Lions proved how his inexperience and his developing throwing mechanics required a change to the Denver attack.
After the loss to Detroit (Week 8), we decided if Tim is going to be our guy, we can't do that other crap, said head coach John Fox, about the altered offense. We had to tweak it.
Denver rushed the ball 55 times against the Chiefs, with Tebow responsible for nine rushes for 43 yards, and a touchdown. Lance Ball received a majority of the carries, rushing 30 times for 96 yards.
Fox's rushing attack may be without Willis McGahee, who is a game-time decision. Meanwhile, Knowshon Moreno is reportedly out for the season with a torn ACL.
The Jets' rush defense has been particularly strong recently, with three straight games of holding their opponents to under 100 total rushing yards, and having conceded just 60 yards last week to the Patriots.
In the highly competitive AFC, head coach Rex Ryan's squad face a less competitive schedule, but probably need to win five of their remaining seven games to advance to the playoffs.
The Jets will need to overcome mental errors that plagued them against the Patriots. Quarterback Mark Sanchez was intercepted twice, sacked five times, and called a timeout in the second quarter that Ryan described as the stupidest play in NFL history.
New York still has weapons on offense, but have been inconsistent. The Broncos defense ranks 18th in the NFL in total average yards.
There's plenty of football left to play, center Nick Mangold said. We're excited about the opportunity to get out there Thursday night and, you know, right the wrongs.
ODDS: The Jets are favored by 7 points
OVER/UNDER: 40 points
PREDICTION: The Jets will bounce back against the Broncos, as New York will be prepared for the Denver running game that won't be at full strength. The Jets' secondary will pounce on third-down situations when Tebow is forced to pass. On the other side of the ball, the New York offense should be more efficient than they were against Patriots. Look for Sanchez to find Plaxico Burress for big plays. The Broncos' defense will need to force turnovers if they expect to win.
PREDICTED SCORE: Jets 31, Broncos 7