“The Jets are lucky because they haven’t played anyone.”
“If Tua Tagovailoa had played we would have won by 30 points.”
Those are some of the ridiculous comments from some salty Dolphins fans who are upset the Jets are getting national media love after a 4-2 start to the season. Other fan bases are still not respecting the Jets during their three-game winning streak.
Sure, the Jets have caught some breaks along the way as most teams will throughout the long season. But Gang Green now needs to win against a Broncos team that will be without its starting quarterback and an offense that has struggled.
Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson will not play against the Jets as he has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Brett Rypien will make the second start of his career as his first start came during a win against the Jets in 2020.
The Jets have been riding high recently, including after last weekend’s 27-10 win against the Packers at Lambeau Field. Because of that stunning victory, Gang Green has garnered some national buzz as they’re currently the No. 6 team in the AFC playoff picture.
But the team isn’t listening to the outside noise as they head to Denver for a critical showdown.
“Our mindset and our thoughts this offseason was to prove where we thought we belong,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “That’s our same motivation, same motto since the wins started happening.
“We know how this league goes as we can lose the next two or three and it will be right back to ground zero. It is not our job to really worry about the record, it is not our job to worry about how people view us win or lose, but how we look at each other every single day, how we come to work, how we prepare, how we practice and get better and do the right things out on the field.”
While everything on the field appears to be rosy for the Jets, the team had a bit of a distraction this week as Elijah Moore first tweeted out his displeasure with his role in the team’s offense after Sunday’s win at Green Bay. Then on Thursday, Jets coach Robert Saleh said Moore was excused from practice because of a family matter.
However, later that day, a league source confirmed that Moore requested to be traded, but the Jets denied his request. Moore was considered one of the top threats in Gang Green’s offense entering the season. However, he has just 16 catches for 203 yards in six games.
For a team looking to contend for a playoff spot, Moore’s public unhappiness is the last thing the team wants to hear at the moment.
“I think our locker room is fine, it is a rock-solid group. We all love Elijah. We all understand the business aspect of it,” Saleh said.
“We all know where his heart is and the character that we drafted. Elijah is a great kid. He is out there, he works his tail off. He does everything that’s asked of him.
“Whether or not his patience with ourselves or with other people, this is one of those cases where in my opinion, he’s going to be a great football player in this league for a long time. It is just a matter of being able to stack together a couple of good days.”
The Jets offense will be tested this week as they’re playing one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Broncos are ranked third overall in total defense as they’re allowing 290.3 yards per game. They’re also giving up 105.8 yards per game (13th) on the ground.
For a Jets team that has relied on their rushing attack, Sunday’s game is going to be huge. Rookie Breece Hall has been the catalyst for the Green and White offensively over the last three weeks.
During that span, he has 279 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. He also has recorded six catches for 117 yards.
Because of Hall’s success, the Jets’ passing game has taken a bit of a back seat as Wilson is still trying to gain chemistry and rhythm after returning from knee injuries that kept him on the shelve for seven weeks.
In the three games since his return, Wilson has passed for 572 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions while completing 56% of his passes. Eventually, the passing game of the Jets will have to perform much better if they’re going to sniff the postseason. But Wilson says he is fine being a supporting cast member as long as the Jets continue to win.
“I mean, when you’re losing maybe, but when you’re winning the game, there’s nothing better,” Wilson said. “I tell [Mike] LaFleur when you can hand the ball off, as well as we have, it opens up the pass game when we do get some of those opportunities, and then also we just have to do better in the pass game when we do get those opportunities.
“So, for me, it’s just how can we continue to learn and grow, and those opportunities are going to come when we play an opponent that maybe takes the run away, we’re going to have to open up with the pass, so we just adjust with that they’re giving us.”