Over the past few weeks, the Denver Broncos have made their intentions clear: they are going to run the football. A lot.
So while Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan may be known for his multiple personnel groupings and aggressive blitzes geared towards rattling quarterbacks, he knows it won’t matter if his team can’t limit the Denver rushing attack Thursday night.
“This week is going to be about stopping the run,” Ryan said in a conference call earlier today. “I think that’s going to be the main priority. Obviously, going against Denver their priority is to run the football, and you have to be able to stop it.
“You don’t have to worry about playing pass defense or rushing the passer because they won’t throw it. I think that’s the number one challenge this week.”
Last week in Kansas City the Broncos ran the ball 55 times for 244 yards and quarterback Tim Tebow attempted only eight passes en route to a 17-10 victory.
Some call it “winning ugly”. Ryan isn’t one of them.
“Nobody cares,” he said. “You don’t have to apologize for winning.”
In fact, Ryan appreciated the Broncos run-heavy style.
“I think this past game was really interesting,” Ryan said. “(Tim Tebow) only put the ball up in the air eight times, but that’s really all they needed to. They were able to move the football really effectively on the ground.
“The 55 rushing attempts I think any football fan, true football fan, appreciates that kind of style of play.”
Head Coach John Fox said Monday he would like to develop more balance offensively, but there was no need to steer away from the run game vs. the Chiefs.
And when Tebow needed a crucial third-down completion he hit wide receiver Eric Decker, a player Ryan called “underrated,” in stride for a 56-yard score.
“He only completed two balls, but one of them was right on the money for a touchdown,” Ryan said. “A difference in that game.”
Overall, Ryan said he’s been impressed with what Tebow has brought to the Denver offense.
“It might not be as pretty as some of these other guys standing back there, but he gives you so much more,” Ryan said of Tebow. “He’s a guy that can run; he’s a guy that improvises, and you have to stay on your coverage.”