*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
This game started with Denver pushing their way to and holding onto a 7-0 lead in the 1st quarter and all seemed right with the football world. Then the Jets hit on three long TDs in the 2nd quarter, way out of the norm for them, and they took a 21-10 halftime lead and the Broncos never recovered, nor looked like they cared to.
If Denver was going to be taken seriously in 2018, this was the kind of game they needed to win…on the road over a weaker(?) team. However, Denver found out they were they weaker team. The schedule will now finish off the current three losses in a row Broncos. There’s a 1-6/2-5 stretch is coming…and may get Vance Joseph fired before season’s end. Also, it will probably force Denver to change a lot of things/players…and we’ll get into that in a moment.
The Jets are interesting. I still maintain they are a playoff contending team had they gone with Teddy Bridgewater…but the Sam Darnold move ends that. The Jets play IND and MIN at home the next two weeks. If they can go 1-1 and hang in at 3-4 after 7 games, it will look like they have a chance, but the schedule crushes them after that – a 2-7 finish projected from Week 8…a 5-6 win team at best. If they win the next two (home) games…then they have a shot at 7-8 wins, but I see that near impossible unless Darnold goes down.
I mean, come on…Darnold was 10-of-22 in this game. Are you serious? 10 completed passes…45% Compt. Pct.?
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Many want to know, including me…how did Quincy Enunwa (0-0-0/5) play a game and get an egg…on five targets?
First, consider the odd situation…the Jets get up big and run the ball for 323 yards total. It allowed them to take the ball out of Sam’s hands for his minimal 10 completions. Enunwa still co-led the team in targets.
Four of Enunwa’s targets I wrote notes on…
1) A little curl route near the goal line, Enunwa open on the timing pass, Darnold throws it 5+ yards over his head.
2) Slant across the middle, Darnold throws it behind Q a little. He gets his hands on it reaching back but can’t connect. Tough catch should’ve been caught but also could’ve gotten him killed had he caught it.
3) 30+ yard TD bomb. Enunwa double covered, but he’s open by a yard…but Darnold overthrows him by a yard. Too tight a window. A nice throw.
4) A bubble screen tipped by the DE and slows the pass enough that it goes from aimed/intended at Enunwa’s chest to his knees, he can’t adjust.
The tipped bubble screen happened, and it looked like a drop, but then slo-mo showed the slight tipped pass changing the trajectory. The TV analyst then pointed out that Enunwa had only a hip injury listed on the pre-game reports but that when they met with him during the week that he was wearing a soft cast on his right hand…a thumb issue. They also hinted that he had a cast on under his glove. I saw that reported nowhere before the game or I would have made other plans.
For this week, we’ll have to see. He was good enough to play Week 5. None of his supposed drops are ones I would classify as real/bad drops, but no catches in a game is not good…especially with a secret cast on his hand.
I would also add…Chris Harris (3 tackles, 2 PDs) was all over him all day and Harris might be the third best cover CB in the NFL right now (Ramsey-Rhodes 1-2) – part of why Tyreek had a so-so day vs. Denver.
-- Isaiah Crowell (15-219-1, 1-12-0/1) looked damn good in this game but many RBs might given the gaping holes Denver allowed. On his 77-yard TD run, Crowell was surrounded by would-be tacklers and a DB was set to tackle him for ‘just’ a 10-15-yard gain but he slipped and fell and Crowell buzzed right by him off to the races.
This was one-part Crowell tearing it up, and one-part Denver incompetence. Bilal Powell (20-99-0, 0-0-0/0) almost ran for 100 yards as well. This is not normal for either guy for the Jets. Crowell is a legit option in a given week because of things like this -- but he’s been nothing for weeks leading up. Powell has been starting/more the main guy (and that’s a stretch too).
Also note – Denver rookie IDP Josey Jewell (2 tackle, 1 TFL) was terrible in this game. He picked every wrong lane you could. If he moved right into the hole the RB blazed through the open gap to the left, and vice-versa. Eventually, Jewell got pulled. A huge hit to Jewell’s current and future status, really. You get a start and the Jets run for 300+ yards. It’s not all his fault, not even close…but he was at the scene of the crime on tape.
-- Let me give some Denver hope with these next two notes…
I don’t know when, it could be next week…it could be in 2019 – Courtland Sutton (2-18-1/6) is on the verge of breaking out and he is going to be a superstar. Not good, not a star…a superstar. He is beyond good. Every week I see him getting a little more comfortable. Every week, I see a flash of him doing things no/rare other WR can.
He had one TD in this game, a great catch and feet adjustment…he had three other targets in the end zone this game. He nearly had 2-3-4 TDs. I point this out because Case Keenum is starting to go to Sutton by default and in times of trouble, and definitely in the end zone because he’s a kinda Calvin Johnson/DeAndre Hopkins ‘just go get it’ kinda WR in the end zone. He is so, so, so, so good.
It won’t be long now…that means WR2 in 2018 PPR because of random Keenum. WR1 hopes in 2019 depending on his QB going forward.
-- Royce Freeman (5-31-0, 3-16-0/4) is as beautiful a running back as you will see in the NFL…if Jordan Howard was a better athlete you’d have this guy. So fast, so smooth, so powerful.
The good/great news is – he got 4 targets, the most he’s got all year by far…so, I got to see him catching the ball more AND it was pretty good. Pretty smooth. Had one drop on a slightly bad thrown pass but should’ve been caught for sure.
Freeman will be a star someday…a lead the league in rushing kinda star. Could start next week or in 2019.
For all those sitting on guys like Wendell Smallwood or Latavius Murray or whomever trying to find the next hostile takeover of a backfield – Freeman is as likely, and then some…and is 10x better a talent than those guys.
Vance Joseph loves Phillip Lindsay (12-61-0, 3-20-0-/4) because he’s popping a long run every week, which is logical, but we’re getting closer to an offensive change (as Denver keeps losing) and a more traditional grind it game with the ultimate guy – Freeman. If Freeman got 15-20+ carries, treated like ‘the guy’ he’d slash his way to 100-150 yards a game easy. He’s that good.
Lindsay popped a 29-yard run to start his day…and then 11 carries for 32 yards after (2.9), but everyone remembers his pop plays. Freeman should be the hammer they pound teams into submission with – and I think that day is coming very soon. I want Freeman on my redrafts as my last RB on then bench, where I can, as a sleeper cell waiting to activate.
Robby Anderson (3-123-2/5)…great game. One great timing bomb where RA got open by 5+ yards and Darnold threw it before Anderson was looking and it was perfect for a long catch and run bomb. Later, Darnold perfect timing throw to the end zone -- things that are going to rarely, randomly happen with Darnold, so don’t get sucked in to a deep ball guy working with Darnold.
Demaryius Thomas (5-105-1/6)…the perfect time to trade him. He has name value and scored a TD with 100+ yards. Courtland Sutton is about to be THE GUY. I think he already is for Keenum.
Devontae Booker (5-59-0/6) caught 5 passes…but it was all late in the blowout. Nothing to see here.
-- The Jets-DST? Four of 5 games they’ve held an opponent to 21 or fewer points. It’s a bit of a hoax. The Jets D is good, but beat shaky Denver, got rocked by Jacksonville, killed Tyrod Taylor for a half then got worked by Baker Mayfield – this is their last 3 games. It’s schedule-based. Play the Jets-DST in good matchups…run from them otherwise – they don’t have an offense to support the defense in games with MIN-CHI-NE-GB in coming weeks/ROS.
Snap Counts of Interest…
48 = Enunwa
32 = R Anderson
13 = Pryor
34 = Powell
24 = Crowell
73 = Sanders
59 = Sutton
47 = Dem Thomas
32 = DaeSean Hamilton
30 = Freeman
29 = Lindsay
22 = Booker