For many reasons, the Denver Broncos are truly facing a must-win game in Week 5 versus the New York Jets. A loss would be a huge blow to the organization and for their slim playoff spots. The Denver Broncos came into the season with clear playoff expectations. Even Sean Payton is quoted in USA Today saying that he'd be "pissed off" if his Broncos weren't a playoff team.
Well, through four weeks, the Broncos are far from a playoff team. While the offense has played very well, averaging 25 points per game and ranking 10th in the NFL, the defense has objectively been the worst in the league. Denver had a strong defense for years, and now, all of a sudden, when they get their offense fixed, the defense is not holding up their end.
Well, the Jets have their own share of issues. They are also 1-3 and are kind of the opposite. The defense has been strong like we all expected, but the offense has been hit or miss with Zach Wilson. Wilson did have a career game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4, but the Jets still only scored 20 points in a losing effort.
The Denver Broncos should have a slight advantage in this game. They have the stronger offense and given that Zach Wilson has been the worst QB in the NFL over the last three years, the defense might be able to keep Wilson from lighting it up. Not only does Denver need to win this to not fall to 1-4, which is a clear death-sentence for any playoff chances, but Sean Payton has a target on his back.
His USA Today interview contained a good bit of criticism that was launched the New York Jets' way, talking about how he thought the Jets would be a disaster this year and really put former Broncos' head coach Nathaniel Hackett through the wringer. It was a brutal interview, and Payton expressed regret for it soon after it leaked.
If Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos lose to Zach Wilson and the New York Jets at home, Payton won't hear the end of it. It'll be a tough pill to swallow and a lot to absorb from the national attention that would surely come from it. Payton has a strong, rugged personality as a coach, and he seemed to have let that get away when speaking to USA Today during that interview.