By Dave Thomas
If you are the New York Jets, you might be wondering what you did to irritate the NFL.
Coming into the season, the Jets were looked at as a possible contender for the AFC East crown, though perennial power New England certainly would have taken top billing. Flash forward five weeks into the season and the Jets are reeling.
On the heels of their 31-0 dismantling in San Diego on Sunday, Rex Ryan, Geno Smith and the rest of the Jets look to rebound at home this coming Sunday when they play host to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Things sure aren’t getting any easier, are they?
Neither Smith Or Vick Seems To Have The Answers
In a game that was literally over by halftime, the Jets looked like they were playing their first preseason game of 2014 as opposed to their fifth regular season contest.
Yes, San Diego is a good 4-1 club, but the Chargers simply dominated in all aspects of the game, a game that Ryan would later refer to as when someone gets their backside hit pretty hard. Okay, he was flat out honest and said they got their butts whipped.
While Smith struggled to move the offense, there was probably some hope on the visitors’ sideline that putting the veteran Vick into the contest while down 21-0 would change things. Quite frankly, it did not.
So, where does a team that sits in dead last place in its division go from here?
Broncos Clicking On Most All Cylinders Again
Not only do the Jets have Manning and the Broncos to contend with this coming Sunday, but they have a shortened week and a trip to Foxboro the following Thursday evening for a meeting with Tom Brady and the hated Patriots.
First things first, Denver (3-1) comes in fresh-off its 41-20 victory over previously unbeaten Arizona.
It should come as no surprise that Manning is again putting up some gaudy numbers (he just hit on his 500th TD pass in the win over Arizona) through the first month-plus of the season.
Five games in, Manning (12 TD passes this season) is throwing for a little more than 323 yards per game and has amassed nearly 1,300 yards of passing this season. Emmanuel Sanders has emerged as one of his go-to guys, sitting with 435 yards receiving to date.
On defense, Brandon Marshall (32 total tackles) and Von Miller (3.5 sacks) lead the way.
Sure, the Jets (an early touchdown underdog) could pull the upset at home against Manning and company (Denver leads the all-time series 18-15-1).
Then again, a 1-5 record is more likely to be staring them in the face when they travel later in the week to New England and renew pleasantries with their hated rivals.
For more Jets news and updates, visit Jets Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.