The New York Jets and Denver Broncos open Week Four of the National Football League season tonight in a game between a pair of winless teams.
The Broncos have been competitive in two of their three losses, edged by two points in their opener against the Tennessee Titans and a second week setback to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 26-21. The Broncos beat the point spread in both those games, and then got hammered at home last Sunday by Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Jets have not been competitive in any of their three losses, and the biggest concern is the lack of progress for their hopefully franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold. This is Darnold’s third professional campaign, and that is a time that if a player is going to develop into a great one, his couple years of preparation should come to fruition.
Instead, Darnold, who was the second quarterback picked in the draft behind the Cleveland Browns selection of Baker Mayfield, has not shown the poise that had him be one of the best college quarterbacks during his years at Southern California. Instead, the Jets signal caller misreads defenses and last week tossed three interceptions against the Indianapolis Colts, two were returned for touchdowns.
One might think that with the Jets team headed in the wrong direction that their head coach would be feeling the heat, but word out of New York is that Adme Gase has job security for now. “For now” can disappear really fast in the competitive coaching game.
The Broncos were wagered into the favorite role in this game early in the week, but when it was announced that head coach Vic Fagio was opening a new can of quarterbacks, a term used behind the scenes in the football world to indicate a team in search of a capable starter, the Jets were moved into a slight favorite role. Today, that line has settled in at a pick ‘em, which I suspect is based on people shaking their heads with the thought of the winless and seemingly overmatched Jets favored on the line.
So, we’ve got Darnold looking to find his footing tonight, and Bret Rypien making his first professional start at quarterback for the Broncos.
This appears to be a little like a lunch counter that only offers liverwurst or spam sandwiches.
I’m tempted to take the Jets tonight, they have a slight edge with my numbers and motivational factors. Still, there is caution to back an ineffective quarterback when the Broncos have the better defense. Those factors lend credence to the choice of sitting this one out.
Or, as one might say at a lunch counter with the earlier suggested options, going hungry seems a better option than puking.