New York Jets: Denver Broncos

Prediction: Peyton wins in Eli's house

February, 2, 2014
Feb 2
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Pre-game thoughts from Super Bowl XLVIII:

Okay, I was only half-right on my pre-playoff Super Bowl prediction. I had the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers making it to MetLife Stadium. In the interest of consistency, I'm going to ride the Broncos over the Seahawks. Forecast: Broncos 28, Seahawks 20.

A few thoughts:

1. Peyton Manning is the best player in the game, and when the best player happens to be a brainiac, all-time great at the quarterback position, it's hard to ignore. Manning hasn't been sacked in the postseason, and I don't think the Seahawks' four-man rush will generate a lot of pressure. If the Seahawks send five or six, Manning will find the soft spot in their coverage.

2. The Seahawks play a fairly simple defensive scheme. They don't try to confuse opponents with exotic looks; Pete Carroll doesn't trick it up because he has the utmost confidence in his players to thrive in their man-to-man scheme. So, basically, it'll be mano y mano -- the Broncos' wide receivers and tight ends versus the Seahawks' cornerbacks and safeties. It's a fascinating matchup because the Broncos are prolific with YAC (yards after catch) and the Seahawks' -- sound tacklers -- lead the league in limiting YAC.

3. I'm curious to see how the Seahawks use cornerback Richard Sherman. During the season, he lined up to the offense's right on 98 percent of the snaps, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Everyone assumes he'll be covering Demaryius Thomas the entire game. If he does, it'll take him out of his comfort zone because Thomas lines up 55 percent of the time on the left. The scouting reports also say Manning is more efficient when he throws to his left. I suspect Manning will be throwing to where Sherman isn't.

4. Manning will be involved an intriguing chess match with the Seahawks' defensive. I suspect the Seahawks, keying in on history's most prolific passing attack, will use a seven-man box, daring Manning to run. Manning will recognize this, obviously, and check into running plays. That's why I see Knowshon Moreno having a big game.

5. In contrast, I think the Broncos have to play an eight-man box against Marshawn Lynch & Co. He's the kingpin of the Seattle offense. I don't think the Broncos' run defense gets enough credit. They allowed only 3.7 yards per carry on runs between the tackles, which bodes well for their chances of stopping Lynch. They have to put the game in Russell Wilson's hands. I like Wilson, but he's gone six straight starts with a QBR under 50. The wild card is wide receiver Percy Harvin. If the Seahawks can get him involved, maybe with a gadget play or two, it could really crease the Denver defense.

6. In the end, there's the destiny factor. This is Manning's year. He dominated the regular season, and I think a Super Bowl championship is meant to be.

Broncos praise Jets' 'beautiful' digs

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The New York Jets haven't received this many compliments since they made the playoffs in 2010. Their 6-year-old training facility in Florham Park, N.J., is drawing rave reviews from the Denver Broncos, who have been practicing there this week.

"It's a beautiful facility. The locker room is tremendous," Broncos coach John Fox said Wednesday. "Their people have been great and have bent over to make sure we have everything we need."

On Monday, the Broncos practiced on the outdoor turf field, not the field house. On Wednesday, they were scheduled for a padded practice, with Fox predicting they'd go outside again. It's 28 miles from Jersey City, where the Broncos are staying, to Florham Park. Unlike commuters, who have to deal with traffic snarls on Interstate 78 and Route 24, the Broncos have a police escort.

Fox said his players are getting accustomed to the transit system, taking trips into Manhattan, but it's time to wear their game faces. The preparation was ratcheted up Wednesday, traditionally the most important practice day of the week.

"We’ve let them enjoy it and they’ve had a good time," Fox said. "We’re kind of toning it down a little bit now. They had a curfew [Tuesday] night. They’ll have another curfew tonight, so now we’re getting back into game mode and we’ll treat this Wednesday much like any Wednesday during the regular season or playoff season for our preparation. But the New York/New Jersey people have been great. We expected that. I knew they would be."

Curtis Martin on Peyton: Chess master

January, 27, 2014
Jan 27
Curtis Martin always has been an admirer of Peyton Manning. Two years ago, the Hall of Famer wanted to see the New York Jets pursue Manning as a free agent. On Sunday, Martin believes Manning will be the difference in Super Bowl XLVIII.

"I think the advantage comes with Peyton Manning, his mind and his understanding of the game," Martin said Monday during an appearance on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" radio show. "He can go out there and it's like playing chess. He's like a good football chess player. I would give the advantage to Peyton and to the Broncos just simply because of (his) wisdom and knowledge, just because of Peyton's football IQ."

Another edge for the Denver Broncos, according to Martin, is Super Bowl experience. No one on the Seattle Seahawks has played in a Super Bowl. Martin played in only one, for the 1996 New England Patriots, and he lost to the Green Bay Packers. He said the Patriots' lack of experience that year was costly.

"We were so pumped up, it was almost as though we were too hyped for ourselves," Martin said. "It took us a while to settle down. By then, Green Bay had already jumped out on top of us. I do think there are nerves and excitement, and the entire week leading up to the Super Bowl does have an effect on the players. Everyone wants to say it's just another game, but it's bigger than a game."

Fox: Jets have 'phenomenal' facility

January, 26, 2014
Jan 26
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The New York Jets' home base received a rave review Sunday night from Denver Broncos coach John Fox, whose AFC champions will practice in Florham Park, N.J., during the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII.

"I've heard great things about the facility," Fox told a news conference upon arriving in New Jersey. "I heard it's a phenomenal facility."

Fox might not be thrilled with the commute. The Broncos are staying in Jersey City, about 30 mintues from Florham Park, N.J. -- under ideal traffic conditions. They will check out the Jets' digs Monday for their first practice. Fox said he's not sure if they will practice indoors or outdoors. He said the ideal scenario would be to practice outside on the grass fields. That, of course, depends on the conditions.

Fox said he won't make a decision "until we see the fields and test the fields and bring over our grounds people." If the fields are frozen and dangerous, they would practice in the non-heated field house. The Broncos will have access to the Jets' locker room, weight room and trainer's room, but the rest of the facility -- mainly the coaches' offices and meetings rooms -- are off limits.

The Seattle Seahawks will practice at the New York Giants' facility in East Rutherford, N.J.

Championship predictions: Broncos, 49ers

January, 18, 2014
Jan 18
I went 4-0 last week with my divisional round picks, bringing my postseason record to 6-2. Anyone who followed my weekly picks for the New York Jets knows my playoff success is against the norm. As Rex Ryan would say, I'm ascending. Without further delay, predictions for the AFC and NFC Championship Games:

Denver Broncos 31, New England Patriots 28


Who's going to the Super Bowl?


Discuss (Total votes: 12,822)

At the start of the playoffs, I picked the Broncos to win the AFC, so I have to ride that horse all the way. You have to admire what Bill Belichick has done with the Patriots, truly a fantastic coaching job, but I don't think he'll have enough answers on defense to stop Peyton Manning & Co. The Broncos' offense is so balanced. In fact, they have five players with at least 10 touchdowns, an NFL record. Yeah, yeah, I know about Manning's playoff hiccups, but I also know that, statistically, he usually improves when he gets a second crack at a team in the same season.

In the Week 12 meeting, the Patriots played rope-a-dope, playing a light "box" and daring the Broncos to run. And they did, rushing for 280 yards on 47 carries against six or fewer defenders in the box, according to ESPN Stats & Information -- 14 more attempts than any team over the past six years. Incredibly, the Broncos still lost after a miracle comeback by the Bradys. This time, the Patriots will have to show more respect for the Broncos' running game. In turn, that will open things up for Manning, who will torch the Patriots' safeties and linebackers with play-action passes. In two weeks, Manning will be playing for the Super Bowl title in his little brother's house.

San Francisco 49ers 23, Seattle Seahawks 17

I picked the 49ers to go all the way, so there's no point in jumping off the bandwagon. This game features a new-age quarterback matchup between Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, both of whom can make plays outside the pocket. This will be a huge key in the game. I think the team that defends it better probably will win. On paper, that edge goes to the 49ers, whose defense is No. 3 in QBR against passes outside the pocket. We should note that Wilson has thrown more passes outside the pocket than any quarterback in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Meanwhile, the Seahawks' defense, while dominant in so many other areas, isn't so hot in that situation -- only 15th in QBR. There will be opportunities for the elusive Kaepernick.

The 49ers have won eight straight, including two playoff games on the road. Yes, they've struggled in Seattle -- who hasn't? -- but they're playing with an incredible sense of urgency. The Seahawks are sputtering a bit on offense, with Wilson off his game in recent weeks, so I'm taking the hot team and the hot quarterback.

Elway thinks Tebow can play QB -- sort of

January, 24, 2013
Broncos VP John Elway, the man who traded Tim Tebow to the Jets, gave a lukewarm assessment Thursday of Tebow's chances of playing quarterback in the NFL.

"If that's what he wants to do, in the right situation, I think it's a possibility," Elway said during an appearance on WFAN radio.

That, of course, is based on the Jets parting ways with Tebow, which is expected to happen.

Elway also made it clear that Tebow chose the Jets, that the Broncos allowed him that opportunity. Tebow has stated on many occasions that it wasn't his call.

"We had two options: We had Jacksonville or the Jets," Elway said. "We laid it out to Tim and said, 'It's up to you.' I'm not going to tell you which deal I liked better, but I will tell you we did give him the option. He ended up picking the Jets, thinking that was the best opportunity for him."

'Tebow Time' lunch links: Sanchez better?

July, 27, 2012
It's officially "Tebow Time" with the New York Jets.

Expect plenty of buzz and coverage surrounding the NFL’s most popular backup quarterback. There were a variety of stories on Tim Tebow as the Jets began their journey in 2012.

Here's a roundup of some of the coverage:

Countdown Live: Jets at Broncos

November, 16, 2011
Join us for a live, in-game chat at 8:20 p.m. Thursday: