The Denver Broncos got hit with an uppercut by the newest sensation in the NFL on Monday Night Football. Patrick Mahomes put another stamp in his incredible season in only his second-year in the NFL. Mahomes got action in a game last season, but this is the first he’s seen the field as a true starter. He’s been doing some incredible things in the Kansas City offense. The Chiefs have designed the offense directly around him.
It looks more like a college offense, more like the system he was playing in at Texas Tech than something were familiar with at the professional level. He’s playing out of the shotgun and wiggling out of trouble in the pocket, only to deliver a strike while rolling out. The Broncos know well how frustrating it can be to defend Mahomes. With the game looking like it was under control, Mahomes pulled one out of the bag, as he directed the Chiefs to a come from behind win of 27-23. Broncos +3.5 had to be my worst beat of the season, but it’s tough to avoid those through the course of a season.
The Broncos don’t have to worry about Mahomes on Sunday. It might feel like Sam Darnold is going in slow motion, but it’s always tricky coming off a short week and having to travel all the way to New York. And after losing in the fashion that they did, it’s never easy to pick right up and continue on, especially against an opponent that they could overlook. With the loss, the Broncos moved to 2-2 on the season. They have wins against the Seahawks and Raiders, with losses against the Ravens and Chiefs. The Broncos are on a two-game losing streak heading into Sunday, while the Jets are 0-3 in their previous three games.
After his debut against the Lions, Darnold came back to earth and realized that winning games in the NFL isn’t going to be as easy. He opened up that Lions game with an awful pick-6, but settled down to get a 48-17 win. Since then, he’s lost to the Dolphins, Browns, and Jaguars. Now, Darnold and the Jets are tasked with getting points against the Broncos’ defense. It was more Mahomes than the Broncos’ defense playing poorly. They pressured him, but all he did was kick it out of the pocket and found an open receiver. Darnold isn’t going to run around like that. Denver better be ready to go on the road, though. Head below for our free Broncos vs. Jets pick.
Denver Broncos vs. N.Y. Jets Week 5 Betting Odds:
vs. Jets +1(-110)
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Broncos vs. Jets Pick:
For the Broncos to succeed, they’re going to have to find something out of their quarterback, Case Keenum. Keenum doesn’t look any different than Trevor Siemian. He has shown a lack of an ability to move up in the pocket and make the correct reads. The difference between the two is that Siemian was a lot cheaper than Keenum, but the Broncos are getting the same kind of production.
He was playing against the worst pass defense in the NFL last week, yet he failed to complete simple passes time and time again. In fact, Keenum missed a game winning touchdown to Demariyus Thomas. Despite breaking free along the sidelines, Keenum sailed the ball over his head. It didn’t have to thread the needle or anything. Just make a basic throw and the Broncos win the game. Keenum, like most of this season, has missed too many of those.
And with that, Keenum has failed to throw a touchdown pass in three straight games. He’s only thrown a touchdown in one out of four games this season, with an interception in each of his previous three outings. He shouldn’t have had issues finding a touchdown against the Raiders and Chiefs’ defenses. Keenum is getting paid like a starter, but playing like a backup. Backup might be generous, maybe a practice squad QB is more like it. Elway dodged Brock Osweiler and we’ll see if he whiffs on this signing. It’s still too early to call him a total failure, though. He has thrown a total of 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions thus far this season. All 3 touchdowns were in the opener, but he also threw 3 interceptions in that one, too.
The Jets haven’t gotten much from the offense in the last three weeks, so it’s been up to the defense to at least keep games close. Last week wasn’t close, though, as the Jaguars cruised past them for a score of 31-12. Overall, the Jets have allowed an average of 355.5 yards per game for 12th in the NFL. They were blanked for a 23-0 loss the last time they played the Broncos in Denver of last season. The Jets have scored an average of 10 points per game in their last three meetings. The Denver defense isn’t as good as it was before, but they can still get after the quarterback. If it was Darnold last week instead of Mahomes, he would have been on his back more often.
Darnold has passed for 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions with a completion percentage of 57.5. Those are rookie numbers, so there’s a lot left to be decided on with him. He posted a dreadful QB rating of 38.2 two weeks ago against the Browns. Darnold has failed to surpass a rating of 75 after Week 1. Following that Lions game in the opener, the Jets have averaged just 13.6 points per game. The good news for Darnold is that Keenum likely isn’t going to do much here. It’s really tough to find faith in either quarterback in this matchup. With that said, expect something like 20-14 or 24-13 for a final score.