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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

NYJ at DEN (thu) * CIN at BAL PHI at NYG * TEN at ATL
* ARI at SF * DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
* BUF at MIA * JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

Prediction: NYJ 20, DEN 17

Players to Watch: Tim Tebow

Update: Willis McGahee has practiced and is expected to start against the Jets barring any setbacks with his hamstring. He was only limited in practices to help him rest the injury.

The Jets dropped to 5-4 with their loss to the Patriots and are likely now hunting an eventual wildcard than a division title. The Jets are only 1-3 in road games. The Broncos have risen to 4-5 but are only 1-3 at home. This is actually a harder game to call with a short week - this is the Thursday night game - and the always wacky and hard to predict Tebow-led attack of the Broncos. The problem that is likely here is that the AFC West plays each other competitively but pretty much lays down for anyone outside the division. Then again, the Jets vaunted pass defense has no meaning in this game.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 27-24 10 NE 16-37
2 JAC 32-3 11 @DEN -
3 @OAK 24-34 12 BUF -
4 @BAL 17-34 13 @WAS -
5 @NE 21-30 14 KC -
6 MIA 24-6 15 @PHI -
7 SD 27-21 16 NYG -
8 Bye - 17 @MIA -
9 @BUF 27-11      
Jets Report | Statistics | Roster
NY JETS at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez - - 210,2
RB Shonn Greene 70 - -
TE Dustin Keller - 50 -
WR Plaxico Burress - 40,1 -
WR Santonio Holmes - 70,1 -
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Jets had no answer for the Pats last week in a remarkably error-filled game. That was a deflating game to be sure and an emotional downer for the entire team. How that plays into this week will be key and the Jets should be very focused if they can somehow put the loss to the side. In what should have been a crowning glory, last week just undid a lot of confidence.

QUARTERBACK: Going against the weakest secondary of the year, Mark Sanchez did pass for 306 yards but only had one passing score and two interceptions. He was also plagued by receivers dropping passes. Sanchez has scored in all but one game this year and Sanchez again gets a break against a weak secondary that always serves up a score or more to every opponent.

The Broncos are tough to run on so Greene should be a lesser factor this week. Sanchez is a decent play this week if he can prevent the loss to the Pats from messing with his head.

RUNNING BACKS: LaDainian Tomlinson sprained his MCL and was not practicing on Tuesday after suffering set back. He'll likely not play in this short week and had been a minor factor anyway. That could result in more work for Joe McKnight or just more for Shonn Greene. The Broncos have only allowed one rushing touchdown by a running back all year and Green only has two anyway along with pedestrian stats. Expect a mediocre showing from Greene this week even if he gets a bigger part of the pie. Teams almost never had a runner with 20 carries against the Broncos - the pass is far easier to move the ball.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Jeremy Kerley injured his knee and is no lock to play this week. I will count him out of the projections in the highly unlikely case anyone was interested in his 20 yards per week. Santonio Holmes has been less than studly this year but at least he scores when he is on the road. His yardage rarely tops 60 in any game though against the weaker Pats he turned in a season best 93 yards on six catches. Plaxico Burress has been.

This is where the Jets have to compete this week. This is where the Broncos defense is far weaker and already allowed 11 touchdowns thrown to the position. Both Burress and Holmes are worth starting and should have one of their best games of the year - though the bar is rather low to jump over.

TIGHT ENDS: Dustin Keller goes against one of the better units against tight ends and he has not scored since week two anyway. Keller accounts for decent yardage in this offense though and has hit around 50 yards in three of the last four games.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 13 16 18 17 20 8
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 30 15 29 4 29 24
Advantage +31 to -31 NYJ 17 -1 11 -13 9 16

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK 20-23 10 @KC 17-10
2 CIN 24-22 11 NYJ -
3 @TEN 14-17 12 @SD -
4 @GB 23-49 13 @MIN -
5 SD 24-29 14 CHI -
6 Bye - 15 NE -
7 @MIA 18-15 16 @BUF -
8 DET 10-45 17 KC -
9 @OAK 38-24      
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Tebow 60,1 - 100
RB Willis McGahee 70,1 - -
RB Lance Ball 40 - -
WR Eric Decker - 30 -
WR Eddie Royal - 10 -
WR Demaryius Thomas - 20 -
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: You have to admit it is really entertaining. The Broncos won their game with only two pass completions on a beautiful warm, dry day. And one was the game winning bomb. The offense is becoming very hard to prepare against for defenders because it has been so long since they were back in High School facing this offense. But the Broncos have won three of four games under Tebow thanks to playing MIA, OAK and KC. And all those in a road game. This will be the biggest test yet for the offense but at least it comes on familiar turf.

QUARTERBACK: What is not to love about the winning quarterback only throwing eight passes and completing two in the game? Tim Tebow scored on one pass and also on a run and remains a dual threat (though the threat as a passer is somewhat minor). He has yet to throw for more than 174 yards but has tossed one or two passing touchdowns in every start. He tacks on ample rushing yards as well and somehow has managed to be just good enough to take down The then winless Dolphins and then division rivals KC and OAK.

The Jets are great against the pass and only allowed eight touchdowns via the air. This is easily the toughest secondary to face for Tebow and yet the Jets have been weak against the run and more so on the road. Consider Tebow still as a startable player with upside from his rushing.

This is a make or break week. Let Tebow show up well here against the Jets and he may ride out the rest of the year. If he stumbles, they'll grab the hook.

RUNNING BACKS: Knowshon Moreno is lost for the season with a torn right ACL and Willis McGahee left the Chiefs game with a sore hamstring that could prevent him from playing this week. McGahee was there for practice on Tuesday so he should get some work this week. But it is a short time for him to recover and he'll likely be limited at least some in the game. Lance Ball stepped in for a career best 30 carries for 96 yards in Kansas City and will play at least some role for the rest of the season. Ball only averaged around three yards per carry and is a poor man's McGahee at best.

The status for McGahee will be important since he faces the weakest part of the Jets defense. They have allowed six rushing touchdowns over four road games and decent yardage to primary runners. The Broncos may end up running on nearly every play. I will assume that McGahee is good to play and has no real limitation. But check out his pregame status before the Thursday game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: It is easy enough to think there is no fantasy value here with such minimal passing stats but Eric Decker has scored in each of the last three games. Granted the yardage is maybe 50 or 60 yards each week and against the Chiefs it all came on on lucky long bomb that worked. But facing the Jets with a very mediocre passing game is not going to help any of these wide receivers who no longer even catch passes in every game. No reason to expect a fantasy start from here in a good matchup, let alone against the Jets.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 14 13 27 27 29 14
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 3 21 4 26 16 31
Advantage +31 to -31 DEN -11 8 -23 -1 -13 17

NYJ at DEN (thu) CIN at BAL PHI at NYG TEN at ATL
ARI at SF DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
BUF at MIA JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

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