Denver Broncos at New York Jets: Behind Enemy Lines
By Tylor Walden
With the Broncos and Jets to do battle, I chat with my friend and former college roommate on the state of the opponent.
The old saying goes, “Someone’s 0 has got to go.” Unfortunately, it is not a team’s first loss that needs to happen on Thursday night. Either the Broncos or Jets will get their first win of the 2020 season.
So, perhaps that is the wrong saying for this situation. But anything to help ease the pain on the first three games of the 2020 season. The Broncos have suffered two close losses to the Titans and Steelers. Those two teams could very well be in the 2020 playoff discussion.
Last week’s loss to the Buccaneers was one that fans were hoping for a win, but it turned out to be a pitiful display by the Broncos offense. Now they come to the Garden State with a few more injuries and another loss. Denver is still seeking their first win of 2020.
But they face a team that is also searching for their first win as they take on the New York Jets. One of these teams will get that big first win. Who wants it more?
As the Broncos get set to face off against the New York Jets, I got to go behind enemy lines. And this is a guy I know very well. Michael Perry is my former college roommate from my sophomore year. He and I have stayed connected for a decade now. In fact, last month was the first time we met.
Here is what he has to say about the state of the New York Jets.
Ty: The season has not gone well for the Jets in the first three games. Where on this team do you see the issues that need to be addressed?
Mike: Can the entirety of the team be pointed out for this? There aren’t a lot of bright spots in 2020 for the world and there aren’t a lot of bright spots for this Jets team. Sam Darnold appears to be regressing, the Jets “weapons” are non-existent, and the defense has been lackluster.
The only thing that has looked good for New York is Mekhi Becton. That kid is a future pro bowler if he can keep his weight in check. I think PFF even has him graded as the top offensive rookie so far this year.
Ty: What are your thoughts on Sam Darnold and do you believe he could get the Jets back to the playoffs once the right pieces are in place?
Mike: I think Sam Darnold can play. He’s definitely one of the best 32 QBs in the world. I don’t think his coaching staff or front office has done him any favors. Adam Gase can’t get out of his own way and Joe Douglas has inherited a disaster of a roster.
Remember that Darnold is the same age as this years #1 Overall pick Joe Burrow so we should not write him off yet. That being said I’d be very surprised if he ever succeeds as a Jet. I could see him following in the footsteps of Gase’s last QB, Ryan Tannehill, in succeeding somewhere else.
This Jets team has very little talent and they aren’t going anywhere this year. When the Jets and Broncos square off their starting WRs are going to be Braxton Berrios, Chris Hogan, and Lawrence Cager. That’s two Patriots cast-offs and a UDFA.
It’s hard for anyone to succeed with that group of pass-catchers. The Jets will probably get 3-4 wins this year and that will put them in the running for Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. I’d be surprised if the new regime wouldn’t use that opportunity to push the reset button once again.
Ty: Rumors are that Adam Gase could be on the hot seat in the next few weeks. Do you believe he will be coaching at the end of the season or will he get the plug pulled early?
Mike: There’s about a 1% chance Adam Gase makes it through the entire season. In my opinion, he’s already lost the locker room and he’s barely hanging on. With a long week coming after this Denver game it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he loses his job after this week should the Jets lose to the Broncos on Thursday Night.
Ty: The Jets face the Broncos in a battle of winless teams. What does New York need to do to secure the win?
Mike: I don’t want to sound like Gregg Popovich here but they need to score more points than the Broncos. The Jets aren’t doing anything well so the injury-depleted Broncos are going to have to lose this one on their own. The Broncos are going to their 3rd string QB and they’re still favored in Vegas. I think that should speak for itself. It would help if the Broncos miss their flight.
Ty: Is there a player on the Jets roster that can make an impact on Thursday?
Mike: I love that the question is “Is there a player that can make an impact” vs “Which player can make an impact”. That further goes to show how bad this team is. A few names to look out for are Marcus Maye, Quinnen Williams, Jamison Crowder, and Brayden Mann.
Maye has been tasked with replacing Jamal Adams and has essentially been given his wild card role. Maye was able to bring down Josh Allen twice for sacks and force a fumble against the Bills in Week 1. He hasn’t been as impressive in weeks 2 or 3 but against a 3rd string QB, I’d expect a good rebound from the safety.
Quinnen Williams had a purely disruptive game in Week 2 where he lived in the San Francisco backfield and he’ll need to play like that in order to force Brett Rypien into some mistakes.
If Jamison Crowder can play this week he’s by far the Jets best weapon and we all know he’s Sam Darnold’s security blanket. If you play in a PPR fantasy league it might be worth starting him. Someone has to catch the ball.
The only unit that has been even passable this year has been the Special Teams unit. So we’re breaking out the rookie punter as an impact player this week. Brayden Mann is a punter from Texas A&M that according to Pat McAfee kicks “Absolute P*** Missiles!!!” #ForTheBrand In a game where no one is really expecting points to be scored, look for field position to be important.
Thank You Mike for taking the time out to chat with me. Here’s to hoping for a good game!