After an encouraging effort against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, the New York Jets head on the road to face the Denver Broncos in Week 5. And the expectations are clear – Robert Saleh’s side will be determined to pick up their second win of the year.

With the great Aaron Rodgers in the building and cheering him on, quarterback Zach Wilson impressed in the 23-20 Week 4 loss to the Chiefs as he connected with 10 different receivers while throwing for 245 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 105.2.

New York will have a great opportunity to build on offensive successes that saw Allen Lazard and Garrett Wilson combine for 121 receiving yards and a touchdown.

In their last two games, the Broncos have given up 98 points and conceded 1,197 yards, frustrating their new head coach, Sean Payton, who has been very vocal upon his return to the NFL. While Denver did dig deep to come from behind in Chicago last week, their level of play has been sub-par.

Russell Wilson no longer gets as much attention as AFC powerhouse quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa, but he is off to a decent start in 2023. The nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion has thrown for 1,014 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions for a rating of 106.7. But he now faces a real challenge in the form of New York’s defense that intercepted Mahomes twice on Sunday night.

The Jets are a constant menace to opposing quarterbacks, rotating defensive lineman after defensive lineman to get after the passer with fresh legs. And a theme ever since Saleh took charge of this team is that New York’s defenders absolutely fly to the football and rarely lose their intensity.

The Jets can consider themselves unfortunate to have come up short against the Chiefs last weekend, but they did show a national television audience that this team is not about to go quietly into the night and they will continue to play with great spirit. Showing similar fight in Denver on Sunday could reap much-needed rewards.

New York Jets to Player to Watch

Quincy Williams – Linebacker… It’s hard to ignore Quincy Williams when watching a New York Jets game – he demands your attention by making tackle after tackle. Williams has become one of the leaders and tone-setters on the defensive side of the ball. If Russell Wilson has any plans to take off running, Williams will quickly change his mind. After making 13 tackles last week, Williams leads New York with 39 stops in four games.

Denver Broncos Player to Watch

Marvin Mims Jr. – Wide Receiver… Explosive plays can change games and that makes Denver’s rookie second-round pick a real danger on Sunday. Mims has only touched the ball a total of 16 times so far this season on receptions and kick returns, but he has made his chances count. Mims has nine receptions for 242 yards (26.9 average) and a touchdown, five kickoff returns for 176 yards (35.2 average) and a score; and two punt returns for 70 yards (35.0 average). 

Stat Attack!

The Broncos have allowed 20 offensive touchdowns in 2023 – the most through four games in the Super Bowl era. They are last in points per game allowed (37.5), yards per game allowed (461.5) and rushing yards per game allowed (176.0). The passer rating of opposing quarterbacks is a combined 133.4 – highest in the NFL.

Keys to the game

There are two key areas where the Jets can and should win this game. Attacking with their tight ends should make life easier for Zach Wilson and Tyler Conklin (four catches for 58 yards) and C.J. Uzomah (scored on a 1-yard touchdown grab) showed up big against the Chiefs last week. And the Broncos struggled to cover the tight end in Chicago in Week 4, giving up seven catches for 85 yards and two scores to Cole Kmet.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets pass rush is an obvious starting point. Getting after the quarterback is always important, but Russell Wilson will give them chances to get home. Wilson is averaging 3.08 seconds time to throw in 2023 – second-longest in the NFL. If Sauce Gardner and New York’s excellent secondary can blanket on the back end, it could be a long afternoon for the Broncos quarterback.