We asked Greg Cowan over at ColtsAuthority.com (formerly 18to88.com) to answer some questions about this weekend's matchup between the Colts and the Jets.  Here's what Greg thought about his team and their chances this weekend.

Be sure to read my answers to his questions on ColtsAuthority.com!

TJB: With the news about Chuck Pagano's health, how has the team responded to their coach's fight with leukemia?

Greg: The response from the team has been genuine, touching, and somewhat inspiring. From their pregame interviews, to their actions during the game - Luck pounding the ChuckStrong banner after his touchdown and Robert Mathis holding up a sign that said ChuckStrong during the game's final moments, to their emotional post-game comments, the team has really rallied around their head coach.

As a rule, I'm skeptical about the role emotions play in the outcome of games - I believe skill overrides everything else - but it's hard to ignore just how invested the team became in winning for their coach.  That said, going forward, I have to wonder just how long they can ride this emotional wave before wearing themselves out. Maybe they can make it through the Jets game, maybe even longer, but I imagine that, some point soon, the Colts will be in for an emotional let down which will lead to a disappointing result.

TJB: What has it been like for Colts fans expectations transitioning  from Manning to Luck?

Greg: I wouldn't say there was a real divide among fans, at least where Luck is concerned. There was a large segment of the fan base, myself included, that thought the team should keep Manning and the veterans and give it a go, but once the decision was made and Luck was drafted, the fan base has been completely supportive of their new QB.

As far as expectations are concerned, Colts owner Jim Irsay and new GM Ryan Grigson tried to temper expectations by talking about the need for a 4-year rebuild, but with every snap Andrew Luck takes, it becomes increasingly hard for Colts fans to be "patient."  Luck is so far beyond any rookie I've ever seen, especially in his pocket awareness, his calmness, and his poise. When he took the field with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter needing a touchdown to beat Green Bay, there was no doubt in my mind that Luck would score, he's become that good in end-of-half situations.

To make a long story longer: we're spoiled, and Colts fans expect to be back in the hunt by next year.

TJB: Like the Jets, the Colts are dealing with injuries to key players. How has losing key players changed the Colts gameplan?

Greg: On offense, where rookie RB Vick Ballard is replacing Donald Brown, it's hard to say what exactly will change, but if anything DOES change, I doubt it will be drastic. The Colts running game is more of a suggestion at this point, their offensive line, especially the interior, is just not good enough for the Colts to have a consistent, dominant running game.

Though it seems like attacking the Jets on the ground might be a good idea at this point - they are giving up 172yards per game on the ground - I expect them to let Luck through it around 45 times on Sunday. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Luck, through scrambling, was the Colts leading rusher against the Jets.

Defensively it's a little trickier. Robert Mathis has been their best, most consistent defensive player this year, notching at least one sack in all 4 of their games so far, and without him, you have to imagine the Colts will be finding creative ways to get pressure on Mark Sanchez and/or Tim Tebow. I do expect them to use some creative blitzes on Sunday, but very selectively, as they are also dealing with some injuries in the secondary (most notably CB Vontae Davis).

With Mathis out, the OLBs will be Jerry Hughes and Dwight Freeney. Both have been bad-to-OK this year, but will obviously need to step up their game if the Colts defense is going to put up the kind of performance they did against the Packers in the 2nd half.

TJB: Who are a few players for good or bad that Jets fans might not know but should before Sunday?

Greg: I'm a pessimist by nature, so let's start with the bad:

You know how Shonn Greene and the Jets running game has been struggling recently? Say hello to S Tom Zbikowski! Angles, as I like to call him (because he always takes a bad one) was brought in because of his knowledge of Pagano's system and his physical play. He's been abysmal against the run and invisible against the pass.

You know how the Jets defense has only racked up 5 sacks through 5 games? Say hello to the trio of C Samson Satele, RG Mike McGlynn and RT Winston Justice! 3/4ths of the Colts Offensive Line Voltron (LG Seth Olsen, who also forms Voltron's left Leg, is on Designated to Return IR)! You might be asking: "Wait, doesn't Voltron have 5 pieces? Who forms the head!"  Yes, and no one, that's the problem.

The Colts OL has been pretty abysmal this year, though they did seem to turn a corner in the second half of the Packers game, and is the only thing holding the Colts offense back from "elite" status.

As far as the good, DE Cory Redding was brought over from Baltimore as a Pagano guy, and he's been a vocal and emotional leader off the field, and a physical, tenacious leader on the field. With Robert Mathis out, look for Redding to be that QB-harassing spark the defense desperately needs.

It's hard to pick an offensive guy for this spot, as you've heard of all the good ones, so I'll go with Colts P Pat McAfee. The Colts have had special teams issues for the past 14 years, and McAfee is the only thing making the 2012 ST unit look respectable. His ability to force touch backs on kickoffs, and his high, deep, booming punts relieve a lot of pressure from the Colts undermanned coverage units.

TJB: What do you think the Colts gameplan will be to beat the Jets?

Greg: I think they'll play patient on offense - don't take too many risks unless it's absolutely necessary. They don't want to give a seemingly anemic offense any short fields or, even worse, defensive points.

On defense, they'll do whatever they can to prevent the big play. Force Sanchez to be patient and lead long 10+ play drives of his own.

Those two things, plus preventing any big plays on special teams, are the formula the Colts will need to follow if they are going to walk out of Metlife Stadium with the win.

Tags: Reports, Brian Bassett

GEICO SportsNite: Petty to start 00:01:59
With Josh McCown sidelined due to a broken hand, Bryce Petty is motivated to prove his worth in the final three games of the season.

Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As he has done for the last month, RB Matt Forte (knee) was on the sidelines during the Jets' practice on Wednesday. 

LB Mo Claiborne (foot), RB Eli McGuire (ankle), DB Rontez Miles (hamstring), OL Brian Winters (abdomen/ankle) and DB Rashard Robinson (excused) joined Forte as inactives.

LB Bruce Carter (groin) and LS Tom Hennessy (concussion) were limited.

Tags: Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Rontez Miles
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Jets LB Demario Davis has been a cornerstone of the team's defense this season, but it wasn't always that way. 

When returning to the Jets this offseason after a season with the Browns, fans and media crushed Davis, saying he wasn't worth bringing back after serving four previous season in Green & White. Davis didn't prove them wrong in the first two weeks of the season either as he struggled mightily on the field. 

Davis spoke with SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon on "The Jet Stream Podcast" to talk about how he dealt with the pressure, and turned around his season...

Tags: Demario Davis
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Dec 31, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) is sacked for a safety by LSU Tigers defensive end Arden Key (49) during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 31, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) is sacked for a safety by LSU Tigers defensive end Arden Key (49) during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets will select LSU DE Arden Key with the tenth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, predicts ESPN's Todd McShay.

Despite the Jets' need for a steady arm at the quarterback position, McShay points out their edge rushers need some improvement as well. This is why McShay can't see the Jets passing up on who he thinks is the most natural defensive end coming out of college this season...

CLICK BELOW TO SEE MCSHAY'S ANALYSIS ON KEY

Tags: Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are frustrated after another loss in a game they were supposed to win. The guys discuss Josh McCown's broken left hand, and how it impacts the team going forward. Later, Jets linebacker Demario Davis joins the show to talk about his leadership as team captain, McCown's impact, and the rise of the team's young linebackers - Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins.

Click below to listen

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jordan Jenkins
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 (Marc DesRosiers)
(Marc DesRosiers)

The Jets worked out two CFL players on Tuesday: WR DaVaris Daniels and CB Garry Peters, reports NY Daily News' Manish Mehta. 

The 6-foot-1, 207 pound Daniels has played his past two seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, who made it to the Grey Cup last season. In 13 games last season, the Notre Dame product caught 47 receptions for 743 yards and four touchdowns. 

Peters has played for the Edmonton Eskimos the past two seasons, where he most recently won the Grey Cup. The 5-foot-11, 190 pound cornerback notched 35 tackles and three special teams tackles this past season. 

As the custom with CFL players converting to the NFL, the Jets may be looking at Daniels and Peters for potential futures deals after the season. CFL players generally are not allowed to sign with NFL teams until their contracts expire in February. 

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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets overcame a shaky start to break out of their slump with their finest offensive performance of the season so far against the Chiefs. A late touchdown by Josh McCown gave the Jets the lead and the defense held on to preserve a 38-31 shootout win.

Let's review the defensive performance from Sunday's win:

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Rontez Miles, Steve McLendon
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Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during the game against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during the game against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets coach Todd Bowles said QB Bryce Petty will be prepared to start this weekend when the team faces the Saints in New Orleans.

Petty was inserted into the starting role after QB Josh McCown was lost for the remainder of the season due to a hand injury.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Josh McCown
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Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) celebrates a two point conversion run by running back Elijah McGuire (25) (not shown) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports  (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) celebrates a two point conversion run by running back Elijah McGuire (25) (not shown) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Jets QB Josh McCown was named a finalist for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. 

The award recognizes players who demonstrate the best on-field sportsmanship qualities that include fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition, according to USA Today. 

The other finalists include Browns T Joe Thomas, Chargers TE Antonio Gates, Redskins TE Vernon Davis, Panthers LB Luke Kuechly, Lions DT Haloti Ngata, 49ers T Joe Staley, and Chiefs QB Alex Smith. Staley, Smith and Kuechly have all been finalists in previous years.

Tags: Josh McCown
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Who do the Jets turn to at QB? 00:02:20
The Daily News Live crew debates over who the Jets should start at quarterback with Josh McCown being ruled out for the rest of the season.

Jets QB Josh McCown is out for the rest of the season as he needs surgery on his broken left hand, according to head coach Todd Bowles. 

McCown suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Broncos. He walked off the field in obvious pain, and underwent X-rays during the game. He received a second opinion on the hand, and it was suggested he should get surgery to repair it. 

"It just sucks," McCown said emotionally after the game. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Josh McCown
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Any lingering hopes of the Jets remaining in playoff contention were put to rest by a struggling Broncos team that was met with scant resistance in their 23-0 win. This continues a season-long pattern of futility on the road for this Jets team, which drops to 5-8 on the year and now seems destined to end up 5-11 for the season season in a row.

Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the offensive side of the ball:

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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GEICO SportsNite: FNNY on Jets 00:03:08
The Football Night in New York crew break down the Jets ugly 23-0 loss to the Broncos in Denver on Sunday.

After Jets quarterback Josh McCown suffered a broken left hand in Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos, second-string quarterback Bryce Petty said he feels "ready" to step up for New York's Week 15 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

"I am going to give my heart and soul and prepare for this week for New Orleans," Petty said, according to NJ.com's Connor Hughes. "Whatever happens in the future, happens, but all I can do is worry about things I can control. Whether Josh plays, or whether he doesn't, I am going to go in there prepared and ready to lead this team."

Given McCown's injury is on his non-throwing hand, it is unclear if he will play during the team's final three games of the season. Head coach Todd Bowles said McCown will undergo further tests this week to evaluate his status for the rest of the season.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Denver Broncos, Josh McCown, New Orleans Saints
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Bowles and McCown on 23-0 loss 00:02:13
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Josh McCown talk about what went wrong for the Jets in their 23-0 loss to Denver.

Jets quarterback Josh McCown suffered a broken left hand in Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters.

"It just sucks," an emotional McCown, who was brought to tears at the podium, said after the game.

McCown left the game late in the third quarter with the Jets trailing 20-0. He previously left the game in the first half after scrambling for a first down, but returned two plays later.

He walked off the field and underwent X-rays during the game. It is unclear if the injury will end McCown's season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. McCown will undergo further tests, Bowles said.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Elijah McGuire, Josh McCown
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 12/10 00:12:08
The Jets Post Game crew hands out its report cards after the Jets' defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos, 23-0.

Bowles and McCown on 23-0 loss 00:02:13
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Josh McCown talk about what went wrong for the Jets in their 23-0 loss to Denver.

The Jets recorded 100 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice as they were shut out against Von Miller and the Denver Broncos, 23-0, Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Josh McCown threw an interception and lost a fumble before leaving the game late in the third quarter due to a left hand injury. Bryce Petty completed just two of nine passes for 14 yards in his absence.

Bilal Powell and Matt Forte combined for 48 rushing yards on 19 attempts, while Robby Anderson, who totaled 253 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the past two games, was limited to three catches for 27 yards.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Bryce Petty, Denver Broncos, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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Adams on playing for Gang Green 00:02:14
Jets safety Jamal Adams sits with Jeane Coakley to discuss his relationship with Marcus Maye and what it's like to play for Todd Bowles.

New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

RB Matt Forte, G Brian Winters, and WR Robby Anderson are all active for the Jets on Sunday in their road matchup against the Denver Broncos. 

Anderson was questionable after being limited in practice due to a hamstring injury, while Forte has been hampered by a knee injury. Winters has dealt with an abdomen issue.

QB Christian Hackenberg, CB Derrick Jones, CB Jeremy Clark, OLB Freddie Bishop, LB Bruce Carter, OLB Ben Ijalana, and OL Jonotthan Harrison are inactive for the Jets.

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Brian Winters, Christian Hackenberg, Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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Vacchiano's 3 keys to a Jets win 00:01:49
SNY NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a New York Jets victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his 3 keys to a Jets victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back in the studio for another edition of The Jet Stream podcast, as they look back at an impressive victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. First, the guys welcome Connor Hughes of NJ.com to the show to discuss Todd Bowles' job security and the benching of Muhammad Wilkerson. Later, Jets safety Rontez Miles calls in to talk about Bowles and his two rookie teammates, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.

Click below to listen

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles
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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (5-7) face the Denver Broncos (3-9) at Sports Authority field at Mile high in Denver, on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4:05 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER:

December in Denver is always a little nicer than I think it's going to be. Temperatures on Sunday should be slightly over 60 with light winds and sunny skies.

WHAT IT MEANS

It means everything to the Jets. They are two games behind the Baltimore Ravens in the race for the last wild-card spot in the AFC with only four games to play, so they can't afford any slip-ups. They also have to hope for some help because just to get to the Ravens, they have to jump over the Chargers, Bills and Raiders, who are all one game ahead of the Jets. It's not going to be easy. It's probably impossible. But the Jets have no shot if they don't win all four of their remaining games.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Christian Hackenberg, Denver Broncos, Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Bowles elated 00:00:28
Todd Bowles gives the reaction of the season after a short press conference, and Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys for a Jets win.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles was ecstatic about how short his post-practice press conference was on Friday. 

Bowles, who is usually reserved, couldn't hold in his happiness after the press didn't have any more questions for him.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE TWEET

Tags: Brian Winters, Matt Forte
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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson catches a touchdown pass against Buffalo Bills corner back Tre'Davious White during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson catches a touchdown pass against Buffalo Bills corner back Tre'Davious White during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson will play in Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos despite being limited at practice on Thursday due to a hamstring injury, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Friday.

The Jets listed running back Matt Forte (knee) and offensive guard Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) as questionable, while linebacker Bruce Carter was ruled out due to a groin injury.

 

Tags: Brian Winters, Demario Davis, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) talks to his line before the snap against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) talks to his line before the snap against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets (5-7) face the Denver Broncos (3-9) on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Here's what's going on today...

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GEICO SportsNite: McCown 00:03:38
The Football Night in New York crew discuss if Josh McCown will return to the Jets next season and debate Steve Spagnuolo's future.

The Football Night in New York crew discuss if Josh McCown will return to the Jets next season and debate Steve Spagnuolo's future.


New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Jets WR Quincy Enunwa was named the Jets' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, reports Sports Illustrated.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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 (Steve Nesius/AP)
(Steve Nesius/AP)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles is not undermining the reeling Broncos ahead of the team's trip to Denver this weekend for a Sunday afternoon matchup.

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Jamal Adams on his rookie season 00:03:43
Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams sits down with SNY's Jeane Coakley to discuss his rookie season and his style both on and off the field.

Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams sits down with SNY's Jeane Coakley to discuss his rookie season and his style both on and off the field.


Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets RB Matt Forte (knee) was a limited participant at practice on Thursday after missing on Wednesday. 

 

Tags: Brian Winters, Juston Burris, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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