Thursday, October 1, 2020, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., 8:20 p.m. ET
Broncos at Jets Betting Preview: Broncos (-1.5/+100), Jets (+1.5/-120),
The Broncos are aiming to avoid their second consecutive 0-4 start and are turning to untested quarterback Brett Rypien to spark the offense. The undrafted free agent signee following the 2019 draft was 8-for-9 passing for 53 yards and an interception in a late-game cameo against Tampa Bay last Sunday after fill-in starter Jeff Driskel was ineffective.
Starter Drew Lock (shoulder) remains out so Rypien receives an opportunity to revive an offense that ranks 30th in scoring offense (15.0 points per game) and 29th in total offense (289.3).
Giving the keys to Rypien during a short week is risky but it also points to how dire Denver’s situation will be if it loses to the beleaguered Jets. Two-time 1,000-yard rusher Philip Lindsay (foot) could return after a two-game absence to team with Melvin Gordon but the offense is also still reeling from the season-ending knee injury suffered by star wideout Courtland Sutton. The defense suffered a blow when five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey sustained a season-ending biceps injury against the Buccaneers.
Turning to a third different starting quarterback in Week 4 is never a good thing and nobody knows how Rypien will handle the nationally televised stage. This might be a contest in which the defense — the Broncos allow 23.3 points per game — needs to be more stingy as well as forcing multiple turnovers.
New York Jets
Second-year coach Adam Gase has a lot on the line as he could be former coach of the Jets on Friday if the team starts 0-4 for the second straight season. The Jets haven’t been competitive while being outscored 94-37 and quarterback Sam Darnold hasn’t show any signs of developing into a franchise quarterback. Darnold threw three interceptions in Sunday’s 36-7 loss to Indianapolis and the Colts returned two of the picks for touchdowns.
The Jets rank last in the NFL in scoring offense (12.3) and total offense (263.7 yards per game) and their losing margins are 10, 18 and 29 points. Darnold has been sacked just six times but tends to struggle with his decision-making when pressured and has thrown three or more interceptions in five of his 29 career games.
The defensive unit’s 31.3 allowed per game are inflated by the pick-sixes but the group also had no answer on how to slow down Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17 of 21) on Sunday.
New York has forced just three turnovers (one interception, two fumbles) and this would be a good time to create some miscues with a rookie quarterback on the other side. Another part of the equation is how badly do the players want to win for Gase? He’s not getting fired after a win.
Broncos at Jets Betting Pick for October 1, 2020
The good news for the Jets is there is no way they will be routed this time. Well, at least that shouldn’t happen due to the Broncos’ own set of problems. Denver figures to protect its novice signal caller with a ton of running plays for Gordon and Lindsay (if healthy) en route to landing its first win.
Broncos at Jets Betting Pick: Broncos 23, Jets 17
Broncos at Jets Best Bet for October 1, 2020
Darnold has just 562 passing yards with a high of 215 against Buffalo in Week 1. But Denver has been soft on the back end and ranks 29th in passing defense (277.7). The fewest the Broncos have allowed is 249 to Ryan Tannehill of Tennessee. Expect Darnold is throw for his most yards of the season.
Broncos at Jets Best Bet: OVER 221.5 passing yards for Sam Darnold (-110)