As the 17th-century saying goes., it's always darkest before the dawn. And when it comes to the current state of the 2021 NY Jets, you get the feeling that things are going to get darker before the team sees a hint of light in their sky.
Off the heels of last week's 25-6 loss to the New England Patriots at home, a defeat that saw the franchise's anointed quarterback Zach Wilson throw four interceptions in front of his home crowd for the first time, the 0-2 Jets now travel to Denver to face the 2-0 Broncos.
According to WynnBet, the Broncos are currently double-digit favorites (10.5) at home. The Jets are the largest underdogs in Week 3 of the NFL season.
Although two weeks is not a significant enough sample size to truly gauge the overall quality of teams, thus far, to paraphrase an infamous line from the late Dennis Green, the Jets are who we thought they were.
The NFL's youngest team is experiencing growing pains, as expected by many.
The Broncos, on the other hand, might be better than people initially thought. Most experts felt that Denver's defense, led by one of the game's best defensive minds in Vic Fangio, was going to return to elite form.
Based on the return of Von Miller and all the high-profile acquisitions in the Broncos secondary like Patrick Surtain Jr, to go along with the likes of Kyle Fuller, Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, and others.
But what has stabilized Denver to this point has been the steady and spectacular play of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The steady part has always been a strength of his, but the spectacular part is what has alluded Bridgewater's career to this point.
With a strong defense, good running backs, a solid offensive line, and one of the league's most talented young group of pass-catchers, Bridgewater might be in the ideal setting to shake his label as a "bridge" quarterback and become the front-line starter he was projected to be.
Back when the former first-round pick made the Pro Bowl in his second season before a severe training camp injury in 2016 changed his career trajectory.
Empower Field at Mile High doesn't have the same feel of intimidation that Mile High Stadium had back in the day. But playing at Denver in those elements is still as challenging now for opponents as it has been throughout the years.
With Denver looking like a legitimate playoff contender this season, the Jets have their work cut out for them on Sunday.
It’s written outside the visitor’s locker room at Empower Field at Mile High: “Elevation: 5,280 feet above sea level. Altitude sickness is real.”
Many have debated whether the altitude advantage for Denver is more psychological than physical. But no matter, Gang Green is going to need to elevate their game in Week 3 to have a chance.
Here are what I believe to be the top three keys to the Jets getting what seems like an improbable victory on the road against the Broncos this Sunday.