With one of the NFL’s top passing attacks up next, the New York
Jets hope their star cornerback will be available to help.
The AFC East-leading Jets look to open 3-0 on the road for the
first time since 2001 when they visit Kyle Orton and the Denver
Broncos on Sunday.
New York (4-1) owned the top-ranked pass defense in 2009, but
the team hasn’t been nearly as effective in that area this season,
allowing 234.6 yards per game through the air – 23rd in the
That’s due in part to the health issues encountered by Darrelle
Revis, who suffered a strained right hamstring Sept. 19 and missed
the next two games.
He returned Monday night in a 29-20 victory over Minnesota, but
said his leg was “very sore” afterward. Revis has been limited in
practice this week and said Friday the hamstring was “still a
little sore,” but has no pulls or tweaks.
Coach Rex Ryan listed his All-Pro cornerback as questionable,
adding he has been “impressed” with how Revis has looked.
Ryan and the Jets might need Revis to impress Sunday considering
their opponent is the Broncos, who behind Orton are averaging 346.6
yards a game through the air – second in the league.
New York can take the pressure off its defense by continuing to
successfully run the ball. The Jets rolled up 155 yards on the
ground against the Vikings – 151 from LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn
Greene – and lead the league with 165.2 rushing yards a game.
Mark Sanchez supplemented the strong ground attack Monday by
passing for 191 yards. After throwing 20 interceptions as a rookie
last season, Sanchez is the only starting quarterback in the NFL
with at least 100 attempts yet to turn the ball over.
“Sometimes last year, it felt like I was giving it away like it
was my job,” Sanchez said. “It was just poor decision making. Now,
I trust the backs to get out, I’m hanging in the protection and
giving our guys chances and they’re really coming up with big
Orton has done plenty of that, as he ranks second in the league
with 1,733 passing yards. He threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns
last week, but Denver (2-3) fell 31-17 at Baltimore.
Orton surpassed the 300-yard mark for the fourth straight game,
but he knows the Broncos face another formidable opponent
“Got a big week of preparation this week, face another good
team, another good defense, and we’re certainly going to have play
better at home to beat the Jets,” he said.
Brandon Lloyd will be a major concern for New York’s secondary,
as the receiver has four 100-yard games this season – matching his
total of the previous seven years of his career. He leads the NFL
with 589 receiving yards.
“He’s a long strider. I think he’s deceptively fast,” Orton
said. “Certainly I’ve got a lot of confidence in him just to throw
it up – he can make plays jumping up for the ball in the air.”
The Broncos (2-3) have been hit hard by injuries this season and
lost three more key players last week.
Eight-time Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins, cornerback Andre’
Goodman and linebacker Robert Ayers left with injuries and have
been ruled out against New York.
“Certainly the injuries don’t make it easy, but we’ve been
dealing with that for a long time now and I think the next guy has
got to step up and play well,” coach Josh McDaniels said. “We’ve
got to give them a good game plan. We might have to be creative
with a few things that we do. But that’s part of everybody’s
Running back Knowshon Moreno did not practice Wednesday as he
continues to recover from a strained hamstring he aggravated in
Week 2. His status for Sunday is uncertain.
The Broncos won the last two matchups with the Jets. New York’s
most recent visit to Denver came in 2005.