During the 2013 offseason, there was plenty of uncertainty over the Jets nose tackle position. Not only was Sione Po'uha - who had been hampered by a back injury throughout the 2012 season - released, but the Jets also lost Mike DeVito to the Chiefs. DeVito had provided the team with a backup option at the nose tackle position while also starting at defensive end.

In order to address this, the Jets signed Chargers veteran Antonio Garay, who had been outstanding in 2011 and played pretty well in 2012 despite missing the start of the season. While the Jets were perhaps hoping that 2011 third round pick Kenrick Ellis would step into a starting role, it was actually 2012 undrafted free agent Damon Harrison who stepped up. With Ellis injured in preseason and only able to play in one game, Harrison made the most of the opportunity to start and deservedly hung onto the job all year with Ellis backing him up. An unimpressive Garay was unable to make the final roster.

After the jump, a look at some numbers and analysis for these this pairing as we aim to project where their careers could be headed over the next few seasons.

2013 Recap

Harrison, having barely played as a rookie, started all 16 games and was outstanding against the run all season. Ellis was still bothered by a back injury for most of the first half of the season, but did play in every game (although he was limited to just one snap in the win over New England.) Pro Football Focus projected Ellis as the Jets' "Secret Superstar" last month as he was also impressive against the run:

He ended up making 17 run stops on 114 run snaps on the season, which gave him a Run Stop Percentage of 14.9%. Over the last six years, John Henderson in 2010 was the only defensive or nose tackle with at least 100 snaps against the run and a better Run Stop Percentage. He was also 1.7% better than the second-best defensive tackle in Run Stop Percentage; teammate Damon Harrison.

Harrison also received plenty of recognition from them as he was named in the top 100 players of 2013:

Acting as an early-down run-plugging machine, Harrison couldn’t be moved at the point of attack and had the playmaking ability to shed blocks and make a ridiculous amount of stops around the line of scrimmage. [He] comfortably finished the year our top-ranked defensive tackle against the run [...]

To some extent, the production from Ellis is a by-product of the fact that he often enters the game in run-stopping situations and also from the fact that he doesn't play as many snaps, keeping him fresh. However, there are plenty of players out there with a similar role and only one of them can lead the league. Ellis also had the highest grade for his position on a per-play basis.

Another argument I've seen is that the run stop percentage could be higher than you'd expect for these players as a result of the other strong players on the line. That's a fair question to ask, but still there are plenty of talented defensive lines around the league. In third place was rookie Star Lotulelei who of course plays on a top-level defense with a great front seven and two excellent defensive ends. Just behind them are players from the Seahawks, Cardinals and Bills - again teams with depth and talent on the line. However, even though it's true to some extent that they benefited from the abilities of their teammates, they extent to which Ellis and Harrison were able to exploit this and generate stops was better than everyone else.

The question of whether or not certain players are being double-teamed more than others and how this affects the value of their contribution is something that fascinates me and I'm already in the process of compiling data for a multi-part series on that topic. Until that research is completed, we can only speculate about whether the likes of Harrison and/or Ellis would fare if they moved to another team, perhaps with less front seven talent.

On that topic, you can cite both positive and negative examples of players that moved from one team to another and how they fared. Garay, for example, had played well with the Chargers, but couldn't even make the Jets roster despite the talent around him. Maybe that was just due to his age though. DeVito is an example of someone who left the Jets where he was surrounded by talented players but was still productive with his new team. However, the Chiefs defense was revitalized last year under Bob Sutton, so there was plenty of talent around him. At this point you risk getting into a chicken-egg argument about whether a player makes the players around him better or vice versa.

One final thought on this could be that the strategy employed by the Jets enables the Jets' nose tackles to make more plays than usual. During preseason there was concern over the fact that the Jets might struggle to set the edge, but in the end that wasn't a major issue as both Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples held their own in this regard. However, funneling runs back to the middle was clearly a priority for the team, as I noted in preseason that they were employing safeties on the outside and even sometimes getting one of their inside backers to run-blitz outside the tackles to ensure outside contain. In fact, that might be part of the reasoning of employing a bigger player like Coples on the outside.

The Dynamic Duo

Clearly Harrison and Ellis provide the Jets with an excellent one-two punch. If a fresh Ellis can spell Harrison and produce at the same kind of rate, that's an ideal situation for the Jets. Rich Cimini had a good stat that suggests Ellis even provided the run defense with a boost when entering the game:

In a backup role, he became a force against the run. With the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Ellis in the game, the Jets allowed only 2.59 yards per rush, according to NFL stats. Without him, they yielded 3.40 -- a team-high 0.81 differential.

This begs the question; Should they be trying to get Ellis on the field more? While I would certainly not advocate for a reduction in the snap count for Harrison, it might be good to reduce the reps for Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. Wilkerson played more snaps than any other 3-4 DE in the league and Richardson was not far behind in 7th.

So, how did Harrison and Ellis fare when they did play together? This will give us some idea as to whether they could run some more 4-3 packages with them paired together inside (possibly with the weakside end standing up).

Opposing teams ran 48 times with the pair of them in the game, gaining just 103 yards. That's 2.1 yards per carry, which compares well with the numbers above. However, context is important here.

First of all, that includes seven kneel-downs for the loss of eight yards. Excluding those plays from the numbers gives us 41 carries, 111 yards and a 2.7 yards per carry average. The reason I've given you both is that it's not clear from Cimini's statistic above whether kneel-downs are excluded from the data. I believe they are, because the NFL's official site lists the Jets average per carry as 3.35 which would account for a slight drop due to kneel-downs. For the record, there were four other kneel-downs with Harrison but not Ellis on the field.

The next thing to consider is the situation. Many of these plays were short yardage plays, some of which were at the goal line. This can artificially bring down a yards per carry average because a short gain is still a successful play. Having said that, the Jets only surrendered two touchdowns with Ellis and Harrison both in the game and their goal line defense was very efficient all year. They also had some other big third or fourth and short stops with them both in there.

The other situation in which they were employed together was mainly when the other team was ahead and the Jets were expecting them to run the ball to keep the clock moving. Again, that perhaps reduces the degree of difficulty for stopping the run. However, there were two breakdowns in the Tennessee and Carolina games in this situation, leading to game clinching 20 and 18 yard runs, without which the averages per carry would have been much lower.

On the basis of these numbers, it seems like a package with both of them inside could be effective on first and second down, although they might need to look back at those two breakdowns to clear one or two things up. One concern with this lineup might be that a team could opt to attack it through the air and maybe even go into a no-huddle and spread the defense out. Harrison and Ellis have both impressed me with their ability to drive a pass-protector back, but I think a package with both of them in there would be less disruptive in terms of getting into the backfield.

One further concern, although this may just be a statistical anomaly, is that the Jets were 0-7 when the pair of them were in the game for more than one running play. They were 3-1 in four games where they just had one goal line play together each and 5-0 where they did not play together against the run. As noted, some of this work came in situations where they were losing. However, that doesn't completely explain it. 24 of the 41 carries with them both in were in the fourth quarter, only half of which were inside the last three minutes.

What can we learn from 2007?

As noted in earlier columns, I've recently been charting games from the 2007 season and some of the things I observed have unexpectedly provided some different perspectives on issues relevant to the current team. That's also the case for the nose tackle position, where we can make an interesting contrast between the two teams.

The first thing to note is that Eric Mangini's team (with Sutton as defensive coordinator) would employ a base defense far more often that the current Jets team does. Starter DeWayne Robertson actually played in subpackages too, but his backup, Po'uha, was solely employed in base. This meant he was lined up over the center over 90% of the time and mostly two-gapping. By contrast, Ellis and Harrison each played less than 25% of their snaps as a pure nose tackle. There would also have been some 4-3 reps at defensive tackle where they lined up over the center as a 3-4 nose tackle would, but at the same time there were plenty of times where they'd line up in the A or B gap. If they were in the game together, then obviously this would necessitate one or both of them to not be opposite the center.

I can recall arguing with people on TJB during the 2007 season who would insist that Robertson was "constantly on rollerskates". While obviously miscast in a two-gapping role, I felt he held his ground well and mixed in enough gap-shooting plays to make an overall positive contribution. Having rewatched these games, I stand by that and the PFF grades for the season agree, as he received a positive grade for run defense. His true value was in the passing game though, where he did a consistently solid job of being disruptive in the pocket and putting up good pass rush numbers with a few stand-out performances.

It's more interesting to look at Po'uha's role though. I can freely admit that I got this one wrong. My sense on Po'uha was that he had struggled in 2007 and only really started to turn the corner in 2008. However, looking back at the games in 2007, he was really starting to emerge as a solid contributor and providing excellent production against the run. especially over the second half. Po'uha was basically playing the exact same role that Ellis played last season, usually playing 10-20 snaps a game (although he did exceed this three times) with the second unit.

Po'uha's run stop percentage for the year, with the data having been compiled by PFF since their comments on Ellis higher up was a staggering 21.2%. In the PFF era, 16.1% was the previous best for anyone with over 100 run snaps in a season.

This is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First of all, perhaps Mangini deserves more of the credit for initially developing Po'uha that Ryan typically gets. Secondly, its pours cold water on the suggestion that nose tackles who put up big numbers in that category are only doing so because of the players around them. That Jets team had no pro bowlers (apart from kick returner Justin Miller) and they struggled defensively most of the year, finishing up 4-12. In fact, when Po'uha entered the game, he usually rotated in with other backups, including the rookie DeVito. Finally, since Po'uha led the league in this category in a backup role, maybe it gives us an insight into the development path Ellis might be able to follow.

Po'uha remained a backup in 2008 as the Jets signed PFF's top DT from 2007, Kris Jenkins, with a three-down nose tackle being an obvious need with Robertson leaving. When Jenkins was injured in 2009 and 2010, Po'uha started in his place and did an outstanding job. He also played well in 2011 before his injury plagued 2012 season. Po'uha was 28 in 2007 while Ellis will turn 27 this December.

Po'uha did see his production increase down the stretch, especially in the penultimate game against the Titans, where he had seven stops in 31 snaps. Part of the reason for that might have been that he was often in the game when Shaun Ellis was moved to outside linebacker (which I referenced in last week's article on Coples). As I noted above, perhaps part of the reason certain nose tackles are productive is because runs are being funneled back to the inside and that's something that putting a bigger player like Shaun Ellis on the outside could lead to.

Contractual Situation

At the end of the season, (Kenrick) Ellis will be an unrestricted free agent, whereas Harrison will be a restricted free agent. The Jets will need to weigh up cost, potential compensation and value to the team when deciding how to approach this.

Looking at Po'uha's situation, he signed a three-year extension after that 2007 season while entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal. In that respect, he's basically in the same position contractually as Ellis. Po'uha's extension was tacked onto the end of his rookie deal, basically giving him a four year contract for $7m. If the Jets could re-sign Ellis to a deal in that ballpark, that would be ideal. However, we've got seven years of inflation and the fact that Ellis is slightly younger to factor in, so that might be on the low side. If Ellis wants to earn a decent-sized contract, he may need to show he can be a full-time starter first and if Harrison remains on the team, his best chance of getting that opportunity could be to let his contract expire and then seek a short term deal elsewhere. However, there's always a risk that you can get that bigger deal much like Po'uha did in 2012, but then end up not seeing most of the money.

It will be interesting to see what the Jets decide to do with Harrison and whether there is a market for him if he receives a high restricted free agency tender. I'm sure the Jets would like to lock up one or both of their nose tackles, but they perhaps still have to prove that they can repeat or even emulate last year's performance first.

Conclusions

The Jets are in a nice position with two nose tackles who - regardless of who deserves the most credit - were both extremely productive against the run last year. However, the clock is ticking.

It's clear there are several factors that go into nose tackle performance and numbers alone (as usual) do not tell the whole story. As the Jets look ahead to the point where they'll need to decide what to do with these two players, it isn't going to be easy to weigh up all these factors and make an informed decision.

If Harrison and Ellis both give another outstanding performance in 2014 to make that task even harder for the Jets, I guess that wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to this team.

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) works out prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) works out prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)

After Josh McCown's season-ending injury, Bryce Petty has been pushed to center stage for the Jets and will be starting this Sunday in New Orleans. The Saints won't take the Jets' backup lightly, citing a lack of film on the former Baylor quarterback.

Publically, multiple members of the Saints' secondary have been respectful of Petty's ability.

"For me having been in this league for a while, it's actually scarier going against a guy you don't have a lot of film on..."

Tags: Bryce Petty
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4 Keys to beating the Saints 00:04:30
On Jets Game Plan, the crew discusses the keys to stopping Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints this week.

On Jets Game Plan, the crew discusses the keys to stopping Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints this week.


Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) (Ed Mulholland)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Bryce Petty will make his fifth career start for the Jets on Sunday in New Orleans because Josh McCown has a broken left hand and because, as Todd Bowles said, "Bryce is the next man up."

That's a nice, tidy coach-speak way of avoiding the obvious truth about that decision: Starting Petty makes very little sense at this point for the 5-8 Jets. They need to see Christian Hackenberg play...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Josh McCown may be out for the season and unsigned for 2018, but he's not done helping the Jets young players just yet.

The 38-year-old quarterback was back on the practice field on Thursday, just two days after undergoing surgery on his broken left hand, and he will travel with the Jets to New Orleans this weekend for their game against the Saints on Sunday afternoon. There, according to Jets coach Todd Bowles, McCown will serve as a "player-coach" as quarterback Bryce Petty makes his first start of the year...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Josh McCown
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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)

Matt Forte (knee) missed practice again Thursday. The good news, though, is he was the only player who missed Wednesday's practice to sit out Thursday's as well.

All of CB Morris Claiborne (foot), RB Elijah McGuire (ankle), S Rontez Miles (hamstring), CB Rashard Robinson (not injury related) and G Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) were limited participants Thursday after being unable to go on Wednesday. 

LB Bruce Carter (groin) and LS Thomas Hennessy (concussion) were also limited participants. 

The Jets travel to New Orleans to play the Saints this Sunday in Bryce Petty's  first start of the season.

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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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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.

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

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park and Todd Bowles should be providing an injury update later. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

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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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 (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.

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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)

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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.

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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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