PUT A TRACKING DEVICE ON VON MILLER
The perennial Pro Bowl edge rusher can single-handedly ruin the Jets’ day if they’re not fully aware of his whereabouts at all times. So, the first order of business is clear: Don’t let this guy beat you.
“He’s one of the best in the world,” left tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “He’s a game wrecker, one of those that you have to account for at all times. We know that we have a great test and a great challenge that’s coming up this week. That’s the NFL. But you have some that are a notch higher than the best… and he’s one of those.”
Miller has been shut out the past two weeks after dominating in Denver’s season opener (3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles). So, Gang Green knows that it’s only a matter of time before he snaps out of his mini-funk. It’ll be incumbent upon tackles Brandon Shell and Kelvin Beachum to help him down.
“You can tell instinctually what type of player he is: His ability to dissect plays, dissect formations, dissect a run, dissect a pass, a quick drop back,” Beachum said. “Just his ability to freelance when he needs to. He finds a way to make plays. There’s something about him. He always is around the ball whether it’s making a tackle, batting a ball down, getting pressure on the quarterback, hitting the quarterback, sacking the quarterback. He’s always around for something to happen. What separates the good from the great is their ability to do it consistently over and over and over. And he’s been able to do that for a number of years now.”
Miller is the headliner, but the Jets will also have to contend with rookie edge rusher Bradley Chubb, the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, on the other side.
It’ll be another stiff test for Sam Darnold, who has made progress in the first month of his career regardless of his statistics.
BETTER DEFENSIVE COMMUNICATION
The Jets can’t afford another defensive clunker like last week when everything that could go wrong did. If Denver eclipses 500 total yards like the Jaguars did, Gang Green fans’ heads might explode. There’s no way that the Jets would let Case Keenum light them up a week after Blake Bortles did, right?
Jamal Adams initiated a defensive players-only Friday study group to make sure some of the communication and execution lapses that plagued them in Jacksonville don’t happen again.
Their top priority must be shutting down Denver’s third-ranked rushing attack (148.2 yards per game) featuring rookies Phillip Lindsay (5.9 ypc) and Royce Freeman (5.0 ypc). The undrafted Lindsay from the Broncos backyard (University of Colorado) has been the biggest surprise.
“He’s giving them a heck of a spark,” Todd Bowles said. “He’s going to be tough to deal with.”
Gang Green might be without defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, who missed Friday’s practice due to a serious illness. Todd Bowles would be the primary play caller without Rodgers.
DARLD MUST CONTINUE TO TRY TO PUSH THE BALL DOWNFIELD
Darnold took an important step last week by trying to take more deep shots. Methodical drives chew up clock and help control the game, but those chunk plays can be a life saver for an offense. Darnold misfired on his deeper throws in Jacksonville, but those are plays that he’s fully capable of making. A solid run game will be pivotal against Denver, but Darnold must continue to take strategic shots downfield.