The Jets will get a chance to get in the win column when they travel to the Mile High City to take on the Broncos. Below we discuss that game and a few other best bets on the Week 3 NFL slate.
New York Jets vs. Denver Broncos
Sunday, September 16, 2021 – 4:05 PM ET at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Sunday’s 25-6 loss to New England was a tough one for Jets fans to watch when their new messiah, Zach Wilson, looked like a mirror image of the false prophet who just left town. Remember when Sam Darnold remarked he was “seeing ghosts” in a 33-0 loss to the Patriots in October of 2019?
If we can revisit that for just a moment, his performance was strikingly similar to that of Wilson’s on Sunday. Darnold tossed four picks which were the manifestations of poor decision-making while Wilson also threw four interceptions and all were of the same “What were you thinking” variety. Whether he was passing into double coverage, overthrowing his targets, or tossing fly balls into center field, it was all a bit of a mess. Same problem, new face.
But all is not lost, at least not yet. And while it is impossible not to make comparisons to Darnold, it’s not fair to Wilson to consider him a bust after only two games as a professional. Come to think of it, it wasn’t fair to Darnold either. Both rookies came into one of the most rabid sports markets in the world and both were given a baptism by fire by a team that hardly boasted an embarrassment of offensive riches.
Would it have been the worst thing in the world to have Wilson hold a clipboard for six or seven games, get acclimated to the warp speed of professional football, and then allow him to dip his toe ever so gently into the NFL waters? Everyone saw the psychological damage it did to Darnold, was Wilson perceived as being so much better that it couldn’t happen to him? Rookie quarterbacks immersed as the Week 1 starter on bad teams usually doesn’t work out well. Patrick Mahomes and even Aaron Rodgers did plenty of sitting in their rookie seasons (Rodgers sat for three years behind Favre if you recall).
But the difference is the Chiefs and Packers didn’t need a savior and had a decent team all ready to roll when the Mahomes and Rodgers took the reins of the offense. That is a huge advantage for a young quarterback, so let’s cut Wilson some slack, and, hopefully, the Jets’ coaches will design more screen passes with higher success rates to build the kid back up. Maybe we will see that as soon as this Sunday.
Speaking of which, the Broncos have managed to take care of business against a pair of lackluster squads in defeating the Giants and Jaguars. Denver averaged only 25 points per game against defenses that could use plenty of help. That bodes well for the Jets, whose defense might be the bright spot on this team. Moreover, if they can continue their impressive rushing attack that gained 152 yards against Belichick’s boys and train Wilson to throw the ball away when he has no available targets, then this game could get interesting.
Many of the handicappers over at SBR Picks are leaning heavily towards the Broncos as 10½ to 11½ home favorites over the Jets. And although Gang Green hasn’t revealed much offensively and is 0-2 straight up and against the spread, their defense is good enough to contain a pedestrian-at-best Broncos’ offense led by a capable, albeit unspectacular, game-manager like Teddy Bridgewater.
The absence of massive blindside tackle, Mekhi Becton, will be tough to replace but New York’s game plan will have to account for it. There is plenty of season left and Zach Wilson is loaded with raw talent. Jets fans have reason to be hopeful and if you’re inclined to bet this game then grab the points and watch New York keep this within the margins.
Free NFL Pick: Jets +11½ (-110) at Intertops
Week 3 Dynamic Duo Matchups
1:00 PM ET – Chargers vs. Chiefs
The cappers over at SBR Picks are giving much love to the Chiefs, as the conventional wisdom is that they will want to atone for their loss last week to the Ravens and will take it out on the Chargers. But others are cautioning laying the 6½ points to a team quarterbacked by an up-and-coming star like Justin Herbert. This looks like a great game to watch but if you have to bet, perhaps a wager on over 55½ is the play for your NFL picks.
4:25 PM ET – Bucs vs. Rams
This is the marquee matchup of the week. Tom Terrific will take his Super Bowl-winning squad to LA where he will meet a reborn and reinvigorated Matthew Stafford leading a supremely capable Rams’ offense. LA is being offered as a one-point home favorite but this is another game in which the total might be a bit more appealing at over 54½.