Week 4 of the NFL season kicks off on Thursday with the Denver Broncos traveling to New York to face the Jets. In a matchup only bettors could love, both of these teams remain winless this season. Only six teams since 1980 have made the playoffs after an 0-3 start to the season. Even with the additional seventh team added to the AFC playoffs this season, it is unlikely that either of these teams will be playing in the postseason. But if you are a fan of head coaches on the hot seat, starting quarterback drama, and long lists of injured players that will be game-time decisions on Thursday, this game offers a smorgasbord of intrigue.
Rumors are circulating that the Jets’ could relieve Adam Gase from his head coaching duties after just his sixteenth game as their head coach if his team loses on Thursday. His team has yet to have a lead this season, and their -57 net point differential is last in the league.
New York has yet to cover the point spread this season after their 36-7 loss in Indianapolis last week. Third-year quarterback Sam Darnold seems to have stagnated in his development after throwing for only 168 yards last week. Darnold personally accounted for 16 of the Colts points. He threw two interceptions, which were returned for touchdowns, and he was sacked for a safety. In Darnold’s limited defense, the Jets are decimated with injuries on offense. Running back Le’Veon Bell and rookie wide receiver Denzel Mim are on injured reserve. Wide receiver Breshard Perriman has already been ruled out this week with a shoulder injury. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder along with starting tackles George Fant and rookie Mekhi Becton are listed as questionable for Thursday.
The defense is also dealing with a handful of absences. The depletion of this unit started when linebacker C.J. Mosely opted-out from playing this year because of COVID-19. The team then traded the disgruntled Jamal Adams to Seattle. Linebacker Jordan Jenkins and cornerback Quincy Wilson are questionable to play this week with injuries. In total, the Jets have placed nine players on IR.
Denver has also placed nine players on IR with the biggest losses being linebacker Von Miller, wide receiver Courtland Sutton, cornerback A.J. Bouye, and defensive end Jurrell Casey. Cornerback Bryce Callahan, strong safety Kareem Jackson, nose tackle Shelby Harris, and running back Phillip Lindsay head a list of players questionable to play on Thursday.
These names do not include second-year quarterback Drew Lock who is also out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Journeyman Jeff Driskel dropped to 1-8 as a starting quarterback in his career last week in the Broncos’ 28-10 loss at home to Tampa Bay. Driskel was uninspiring in completing 17 of 30 passes for 176 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception. Brett Rypien completed 8 of 9 passes for 53 yards with an interception in the end zone after coming on in relief, which was enough for head coach Vic Fangio to name him the starting QB for this game. BetOnline
lists Denver as a 1-point favorite with the total set at 39.5. The NFL Network has the broadcast with the kickoff scheduled for just after 8:20 PM ET.