The New York Jets are 0-2 and fans are trying to skim the schedule to see when that first win is going to come.
Up next in Week 3 is a daunting task vs one of only two remaining undefeated teams in the AFC Conference, the Denver Broncos.
While some people may scoff at a team led by veteran journeyman Teddy Bridgewater, this is no laughing matter.
The Broncos after the first two weeks of the NFL season are top-10 in both offense (fourth-best) and defense (eighth-best), per Pro Football Focus.
Although things just got a little bit easier for the green and white after an unfortunate injury to a key cog on the Broncos roster.
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Dynamic Pass Rusher on the Shelf for This Matchup
This matchup made me very queasy when it appeared on the schedule back in May. The Denver Broncos are absolutely loaded at every level on the defensive side of the football.
Although the portion of the defense that provided me the most worry is the dynamic duo of EDGE rushers in Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
Miller is one of the premier pass rushers of this generation and Chubb is a recent top-five NFL pick that wreaked havoc in college and has done more of the same at the NFL level.
Well, when he has been healthy and on the field that is.
The former NC State stud is in the midst of his fourth professional season. In his first three seasons, Chubb has secured 20.5 sacks but also missed over 14 games during that span.
Now he is set to miss even more time in 2021.
Chubb missed the season opener due to injury but returned to the lineup in Week 2 vs the Jacksonville Jaguars. Late in the second quarter, Chubb felt a “stab type pain” in his ankle and will now have to undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur.
The recovery time is expected to be between seven and eight weeks “if things go well” which puts him on the shelf for the foreseeable future including this upcoming matchup vs the Jets.
Gang Green still has to worry about Miller, but at least they can breathe a sigh of relief on the opposite side of the line with Chubb ruled out for this contest.
Other Injuries That Are Worth Monitoring
The Broncos are a wounded animal and have placed several players on injured reserve that’ll knock them out of this contest vs the green and white.
Jerry Jeudy, wide receiver
The former Alabama star was in the midst of his second professional season when he got injured during the season opener vs the New York Giants. It was a nasty-looking injury that thankfully wasn’t as bad as it looked.
Jeudy ultimately was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain that is likely to put him on the shelf between four and six weeks (he was officially placed on injured reserve).
On one hand, this is one less receiver the Jets have to defend, but on the other hand, the Broncos have incredible depth at the wideout position:
- Courtland Sutton
- Tim Patrick
- KJ Hamler
Ronald Darby, cornerback
In the same game vs the Giants, veteran corner Ronald Darby also got hurt. Darby pulled his hamstring and was also placed on injured reserve.
That knocks him out for a minimum of three weeks and after that time span, he is expected to be week-to-week.
Again another situation where the Jets would think to have a massive advantage, yet in the wise words of Lee Corso, “not so fast my friend.”
The Broncos have great depth on the backend of their defense as well:
- Bryce Callahan
- Kyle Fuller
- Patrick Surtain
The challenge will be a little bit easier with all of these pieces out for Denver, but there are still a lot of obstacles between the Jets and their first win of the 2021 season.