The main narrative entering Sunday’s Jets matchup vs. the Broncos encompasses the two coaching staffs. It’s been that way since the summer when Denver head coach Sean Payton infamously ripped Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired after just 15 games as the Broncos’ head coach last year.
It’s mostly overhyped at this point, but that’s the general story of what’s likely to be a lousy matchup of 1-3 AFC squads.
However, there might be another interesting tidbit to this Mile High meeting: you could argue that both quarterbacks need a win more than most others in Week 5.
Russell Wilson and the Broncos finally got in the win column last week, sure. But they needed a big comeback to defeat the Bears, one of the worst teams in the league. So there are still questions to answer and progress to be made.
The Broncos have expected themselves to be a playoff team ever since Russell arrived via last year’s blockbuster trade. After a disastrous 2022 that featured five wins, they brought in Payton to get them over the hump. And things still aren’t great.
Russell has taken quite the heat, both last year and this year, as the future Hall of Famer has drastically failed to replicate the production from his Seattle years. Pulling off a second straight win, something he hasn’t done since Week 3 of last season, could jumpstart a team that’s desperately needed it since over a year ago. And it could be a stepping stone towards a 2023 revival for the veteran passer.
And then there’s the youngster; the other Wilson.
Zach Wilson looked a lot better in last week’s loss to the Chiefs. But that’s what it was: a loss. He played great but he still cannot fumble that ball at the end of the game. The standings still say 1-3 with no asterisks denoting Zach’s performance.
Regardless of how he played, the Jets have lost three straight. And are staring down a gauntlet of opponents after Week 5 that includes the Eagles, Chargers, Bills, and Dolphins in seven weeks. If Zach struggles and the Jets lose again, there will absolutely be calls for the team to play Trevor Siemian. Even if Zach is just mediocre and the Jets lose, there will be calls for Siemian. So Sunday is another crucial day in the young, rollercoaster career of the former No. 2 pick.