Week 6 NFL Picks: Broncos Likely to Add to Jets' Misery

Matthew Jordan

Monday, October 6, 2014 6:11 PM GMT

On paper, Sunday's Broncos-Jets game looks like the biggest mismatch in Week 6 as Denver is the biggest opening odds favorite on the board at sportsbooks at -9. But football isn't played on paper. 

Rex Ryan's Job Status Tenuous at Best
Could this be the final game as Jets head coach for Rex Ryan? It's not impossible as this team is in a tailspin and the fans aren't happy. New York has scored fewer points each week since a 31-24 loss in  Green Bay on Sept. 24. The Jets played by far their worst game of the season in Week 5, a 31-0 shellacking in San Diego. Second-year quarterback Geno Smith is clearly regressing, and he was pulled for Michael Vick on New York's first possession after halftime. It didn't matter as the Jets were shutout for the first time since late September 2012. Vick was 8-for-19 for 47 yards, while Smith was 4-for-12 with 27 yards an interception. The Jets finished with 60 net passing yards, which is a joke, and were just 1-for-12 on third-down conversions. Their longest completion traveled only 8 yards in the air. The Jets didn't cross midfield until midway through the fourth quarter.

As of now, Ryan says that Smith will start this week even thought he also missed a team meeting on Saturday night along with a few other teammates. It's still up in the air whether the Jets will have back No. 1 receiver Eric Decker, the former Bronco. He missed Sunday's game with a hamstring injury and hasn't lived up to his big free-agent contract yet. Neither has running back Chris Johnson. His second-quarter fumble Sunday was the turning point. Johnson hasn't rushed for more than 44 yards in the past four games.

The defense wasn't blameless either on Sunday. New  York had been one of the top rushing defenses in the NFL but was gashed by San Diego for 162 yards. Fourth-string Chargers tailback Branden Oliver had 114 yards rushing. He will be a popular fantasy football pickup this week. The Jets played without starting QB Darrin Walls against San Diego, and he's questionable for this one. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year, left that game with an injury but did return. Starting linebacker David Harris hurt his shoulder vs. San Diego and was to get an MRI on Monday.

The Jets are now +5000 on NFL odds to win the AFC East. They are only two games out of first.

 

Denver Looked Super vs. Cards
The Broncos are the heavy +180 sportsbook favorites on NFL odds to win the AFC title game for the second year in a row and they looked the part in Week 5 with a 41-20 beating of previously unbeaten Arizona. Peyton Manning threw for a career-high 479 yards along with four touchdown passes. His first TD was No. 500 career and he's now five shy of tying Brett Favre's NFL record. Demaryius Thomas also had a career day with a franchise-record 226 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches. Tight end Julius Thomas had two more TD catches, including Manning's 500th. Thomas has seven touchdown catches in four games. The NFL record is 23 by Randy Moss on the 2007 Patriots. The record for a tight end is 17 by Rob Gronkowski of the 2011 Patriots. Don't rule out Manning getting the five TDs he needs to tie Favre this week. The Jets rank ahead of only Jacksonville in opponents' QB rating and have allowed 12 TD passes, which is tied for 30th. Manning's next 400-yard game will be his NFL-record 14th. He's currently tied with Dan Marino.

The news wasn't all good for Denver against Arizona. The Broncos lost starting running back Montee Ball to a groin injury that reportedly is serious. Thus he's probably out multiple weeks. That means Ronnie Hillman takes over as the starter. He had 64 yards on 15 carries off the bench against the very good Cardinals run defense.

Before placing this NFL pick, keep in mind that Denver has never faced the Jets with Manning under center.

 

NFL Free Picks: Broncos -9 and the 'over' 47.5 points. But this line is a bit high. I've seen it at 7.5 at other sportsbooks, like BookMaker. The Broncos failed to cover their only road game thus far but that was in Seattle. The Jets haven't covered yet in three home games. 

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