Despite their five and eight record, the New York Jets have been competitive in all but two games, a 45-20 loss at Oakland in week two and a 23 to nothing shutout in Denver last Sunday.
It was to whom they lost last week, how they lost and whom they lost in the course of that embarrassing defeat that has the Saints installed as 16-point favorites. In the team’s history, the Saints have never been that prohibitive favorite.
Sean Payton’s challenge this week is to get the Saints to forget about the Jets’ most recent stinker and prepare for the visitors at their best. If he’s showed the Saints any of the Jets in Denver, it would only make it more difficult.
The Broncos were on an eight-game losing streak and hadn’t won in 70 days. The Jets were coming off an impressive 38-31 win over the Chiefs, which made their total collapse against the Broncos that much more perplexing and alarming.
The Broncos were minus 16 in turnover differential. The Jets turned it over twice in their first three possessions. They had minus 14 total yards in the first quarter, 100 total yards in the game. Had six three-and-outs while losing starting quarterback Josh McCown for the season to a broken left hand.
His replacement, third-year quarterback Bryce Petty, was two of nine for 14 yards in relief. And now must start against a rested and recovering Saints defense. In seven career games, Petty has completed 54-percent of his passes with three touchdowns and seven interceptions.
The Jets are the filling in the sandwich between the slices of bread that are the Falcons. Stay hungry my friends, no matter how hard that may be.