For the first time since 2010, the New York Jets are 4-2, and it’s ironically the last time the season resulted in a trip to the postseason.
More importantly, the Jets registered their second consecutive road victory, handing the Packers a 27-10 defeat at historic Lambeau Field. It also marked their third straight overall victory after they outlasted the Steelers in Pittsburgh and routed the Dolphins at home.
The Jets (4-2) now travel to Denver on Sunday, Oct. 23, to meet a reeling Broncos team (2-4) for a 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff. Denver’s 33-year-old quarterback Russell Wilson has shown signs of wear and tear as well as a failure to consistently ignite the offense. Running back Melvin Gordon has requested a trade. The Broncos suffered a 19-16 loss to the Chargers Monday night, their third consecutive defeat. Denver had a 10-0 lead before it imploded.
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N.Y. Jets vs. Denver Broncos Betting Odds
Denver opened this week as a 3-point favorite, but the line has steadily come down through Thursday. Now it is sitting at Broncos -1 or Broncos -0.5. The Jets’ stock is rising, while the Broncos’ stock is plummeting.
Here are some of the best odds available at various sportsbooks.
The Jets have outscored opponents, 68-20, in the fourth quarter this season. Their scoring margin (+48) is the best in the league.
They also lead the league in fourth-quarter expected points with 27.74 and rank third in total yards (722). In addition, their five fourth-quarter takeaways are the league’s best.
Quarterback Zach Wilson has led six scoring drives in the fourth quarter out of eight attempts.
A Closer Look At Each Team
The Jets’ main generator of offense has been rookie running back Breece Hall, who ran for 116 yards at Green Bay. It marked the first time Hall crossed the 100-yard threshold this session, and he raised his team-leading total to 391 yards with a 5.1-yards-per-carry clip.
New York rushed for 179 yards against Green Bay and generated 135 yards against Pittsburgh. Their elevated running game has taken the pressure off Wilson, who threw 18 times last week and completed 10 of those passes for 110 yards. Overall, Wilson has completed 47 of 75 passes for 572 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Hall also is the third-leading receiver on the team, as he has 19 receptions for 218 yards. Fellow rookie Garrett Wilson, whose progress has slowed in the past three games, still leads the team with 24 catches for 290 yards for a 12.1 average. Vet Corey Davis has been the team’s main deep threat with 19 grabs for 351 yards for an 18.5-yard average. Tight end Tyler Conklin has been a steady outlet with 22 receptions for 208 yards.
Elijah Moore, Zach Wilson’s favorite target last season, had a slow start with an injury and has 16 catches for 203 yards. Moore recently tweeted that he hasn’t been happy with his amount of targets in the early going.
With a revitalized running game and a number of targets in the passing game, the Jets should continue to climb the ladder on offense. They began the weekend ranked 17th overall (343 yards) in total offense and ranked 12th in scoring offense (22.3 points per game). They have allowed 14 sacks.
Like Hall, kicker Greg Zuerlein continues to be an MVP offensive candidate. He is 4-for-4 from 40-plus yards and 10-for-12 overall.
Even though he has struggled with his consistency, Russell Wilson’s numbers aren’t bad. He has thrown for 1,442 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions, averaging 240 yards per game. However, he has been sacked 20 times.
Gordon has 201 yards rushing, and he has lost two fumbles. Javontae Williams has slightly outgained him with 204 yards, but he’s out for the season with a knee injury. Latavius Murray led Denver’s rushing attack last week. The Broncos’ passing offense is ranked 21st (219.2) and their rushing offense is ranked 19th (110.2).
Courtland Sutton is their main threat, as he has 31 receptions for 431 yards, producing 13.9 yards per catch. Jerry Jeudy, a perennial favorite, has 17 catches for 290 yards.
Overall though, the Broncos have struggled to move the ball. Their scoring offense is ranked 31st (14.8), their third-down offense is ranked 30th (30.2%), and their red zone offense is ranked 32nd (20%).
Brandon McManus is one of the more reliable kickers around, converting 14 of 17 attempts.
The Jets’ defense harassed Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers all afternoon last week, as the defense notched its third-straight game under 300 yards. The Jets held the high-octane Packers’ offense to 278 yards — well below their season average of 362 yards per game. The Jets are the only team this season that has recorded 47 quarterback hits, 14 sacks, and 23 tackles for a loss.
They are ranked ninth in total defense (313.2), with the passing and rushing defenses both ranked 12th. They have allowed 17.3 points per game (17th overall), but they are 25th in third-down defense (63.6%), and 24th in red zone defense (66.7%). The Jets returned a blocked punt for a score — their first since 2019 — and also blocked a field goal attempt last week.
Tackle Quinnen Williams looks like the All-Pro the Jets expected him to be with five sacks and four tackles for a loss. Rookie corner Sauce Gardner also has lived up to his billing with eight pass deflections. Linebacker CJ Mosley is a consistent tackling machine with 62 stops.
The Jets’ aggressive defensive style will need to continue against Russell Wilson, and they can’t afford to allow him to get into a rhythm. They also will need to keep the clamps on Gordon, who likely will be out to prove himself to force a trade.
Denver’s defense has been one of the few bright spots this season. The Broncos are ranked third overall, giving up 290 yards per contest. They also have permitted the league’s fourth-lowest point total at 16.5 points per game.
Through the air, Denver’s pass defense has been frugal, as it is ranked fifth (184.5 yards per game allowed). On the ground, the Broncos’ rush defense is a respectable 13th (105.8). Denver also has the top red zone defense (26.7%) and a strong third-down defense (11th/36%).
Linebacker Alex Singleton leads an active linebacker corps with 47 tackles, and Bradley Chubb has 5.5 of the team’s 19 sacks. The Broncos have four interceptions, but their secondary is still a challenge with 20 pass deflections.
Zach Wilson will be tested by the Broncos’ defense to avoid costly turnovers, and the Jets will need to keep their ground game churning.
The Jets are very healthy. Only rookie defensive end Jermaine Johnson (ankle) missed practice Wednesday, and his status is questionable. Tackle Duane Brown (shoulder), safety Ashtyn Davis (hamstring), wide receiver/returner Braxton Berrios (back), and linebacker Quincy Williams (ankle) were limited Wednesday, but they are expected to play.
The Broncos had a handful of players miss practice Wednesday. Cornerback Essang Bassey (hamstring), linebacker Josey Jewell (knee), defensive tackle D.J. Jones (ankle), guard/center Quinn Meeinerz (foot) are all questionable.
The Broncos lead the series, 20-16-1. Denver has won five of the last six meetings. The Broncos won the last meeting last September when they shut out the Jets, 26-0, in a game they dominated. The last Jets’ win was at home, 34-16 in 2018, and the Jets’ last win in Denver was on Oct. 10, 2010, by a 24-20 score.
The Jets lost a memorable 1998 AFC Championship game in which many thought they would advance to the Super Bowl behind Bill Parcells and Vinnie Testaverde.
Denver normally would be a tough venue to play, but the Broncos are having trouble getting out of their own way. Wilson is under fire as well as first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett, who may have to win this game to keep his job. The Jets need to take control and put this game away in the second half as they did in Green Bay last week. A letdown here could be devastating. The Broncos’ defense will keep them in the game, and the Jets’ defense needs to keep the pressure on. The game will be tight for while, but the Jets (+1) are a good take here. Final score: Jets 24-21
Season prediction record: 4-2
AP Photo/Mike Roemer