This year, however, NFL fans will be taking a break as both Titans Jags games will air on Sunday afternoons, only broadcast to local markets and hidden from general view. But that doesn’t mean the table on Thursday evening isn’t mediocre: after all, we’ve already seen the Browns play the Bengals and the Dolphins play the jaguars (there they are!). But these talentless matchups have nothing (or anything, depending on your worldview) to do with what we’re going to see on Thursday night to start week 4.
Jets. Broncos. Two 0-3 teams that are imperfect in their own special way. Let’s count them.
Everyone is hurt!
The Jets are a little better off now than they were in their week three game against the Colts, when Jets coach Adam Gase quipped that “whoever has a pulse” should be ready to play. For example, Wideout Jamison Crowder was scheduled to return after a hamstring injury.
The Broncos, on the other hand, run out of impulses. Quarterback Drew Lock is out, and Denver starts in his place with Brett Rypien, the youngest third stringer. Super Bowl MVP Von Miller is likely to be out with a torn ankle tendon. Five-time Pro Bowl defender Jurrell Casey is out with a torn biceps tendon. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton is out for the year with a torn ACL. Phillip Lindsay has been limited in training all week due to a foot injury and is an important question mark. In total, the Broncos have already put five starters in the injured reserve, and the season is three games old.
Gase could train for his job!
After starting the season with three double-digit losses, speculation increased that Gase was facing a win-or-else situation on Thursday night. The thought of firing him during the longer break between weeks 4 and 5 would give his replacement more time to ease into the job. And while NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport threw water on that scuttlebutt Thursday morning, saying the Jets would consider such a move counterproductive and no longer want to hurt quarterback Sam Darnold’s development than they already did by gassing so early Fired in the season.
But a home loss to an absurdly exhausted Broncos team wouldn’t be good.
Basically there is no interest in fantasy!
After Broncos Melvin Gordon and Noah Fant (who in turn catches balls from a man with nine NFL career passes) run back, I name one player in this game who can crack a starting fantasy football line-up?
The Jets’ leading fantasy scorer, at least by my major league stats, is someone named Braxton Berrios. Oddly enough, nobody in my league picked him up.
The distribution of points has gone crazy!
That game opened with the Broncos as a three-point favorite. But then the nation’s more affiliated players began to think that an injury-related Denver team starting an undeveloped quarterback who was on the training team less than two weeks ago shouldn’t be a street favorite over anyone, even the Jets. As of this writing, the spread has flipped through zero to New York -1. Either way, this game is why these 1-800 GAMBLER caveats are considered on any sports betting ad.
(NOTE: The author of this story bet on this game.)
It gets better!
According to Broncos Jets, the board actually looks a lot brighter on Thursday night, starting next week when Tom Brady and the Bucs visit the inexplicably undefeated bears. Chiefs-Bill’s should be dynamite in two weeks. For now, however, we have a game where a quarterback fight between Joe Flacco and Blake Bortles is a definite possibility as both of them are still clinging to their careers in the down-charts of Jets and Broncos.
And we are grateful for that.