As if losing four straight isn’t bad enough, the Jets face an opponent on Sunday with one of the best offenses in the history of the NFL. The Broncos are Super Bowl contenders again after falling short in the game the last time they visited MetLife Stadium.
Metro takes a look at three storylines to watch as the Jets host the Broncos Sunday (1 p.m., CBS).
1. Always about Manning
He may be 38 years old and a couple years removed from contemplating retirement due to a neck injury, but Peyton Manning shows no signs of slowing down. He completed 31-of-47 passes for 479 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Yet, the perfectionist sees room for improvement. And considering the state of the Jets’ secondary, it could be much worse Sunday.
2. Wounded animal
It may not be fair to sleep on the Jets coming into this game. At 1-4, they are teetering in “must-win” territory. The Broncos see a team better than their record indicates.
“You know, we look at tape and some people on the outside look at records and all of that fun stuff,” said Broncos head coach John Fox. “Our guys understand, like any road trip, we’re going into a hornets’ nest.”
3. Third railed
Remember the talk before the season about the Jets defense being among the best in the league? Well, it’s not as bad as the offense, but the defense certainly hasn’t lived up to its billing. Especially worrisome is the third-down defense, where the Jets let the Chargers convert on 12-of-18 third downs last Sunday.
“Not only have we given up first downs, we’ve given up chunks and big plays,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “We’ve tried pretty much everything. We’ve pressured in those situations, we’ve played coverage [and] a lot of different things. But one thing that’s stayed consistent [is] we have not been very good.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.