Jags vs. Broncos: The Biggest Mismatch In NFL History
By Daniel Calzone
NFL fans, it seems we have a modern day David vs. Goliath on our hands in Week 6 of the season. The reeling Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) head out to Colorado to take on the undefeated Denver Broncos (5-0), who are fresh off their thrilling 51-48 victory over the Cowboys. (I told you the Broncos could easily lose that game). Unless Maurice Jones-Drew gets his hands on David’s slingshot and starts taking out Broncos players one by one, don’t expect this game to follow in the footsteps of the classic underdog tale.
This matchup is tied for the widest point spread in NFL history, with a capacious 28 points being spotted to Jacksonville. According to The Gold Sheet, a sports-betting publication that has been tracking point spreads since the 1950s, that number ties the highest spread of all time, a mark set by the Baltimore Colts over the expansion Atlanta Falcons in 1966. Since ’66 no spread has topped or tied -28.
I honestly don’t believe this is even a big enough spread. We’ll see how this shakes out, but if I were a betting man, I would put my money on Denver. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Broncos won by 40. I’m expecting to see a 35-7 type score at half time, with Peyton Manning and many of the other Broncos starters watching a majority of the second half from the bench. The longer the starters sit, the worse off people who bet on the Broncos will be.
Listen, the Jaguars gave up 34 points to the Rams last week. The Rams ain’t so good, folks. Sam Bradford is teetering dangerously on the line between young player with upside, and absolute bust. The Rams’ offense ranks 26th in the NFL with 1,558 yards from scrimmage, and the Broncos have one of the best offenses of all time compiling a league-best 2,449 yards through the first five weeks of the season. You do the math. I’m sure Manning is licking his chops to get out there on Sunday and feast on this weak Jaguars defense. I’m also sure he is studying game tape like a man possessed, and is treating this game as if it was the Super Bowl.
Blaine Gabbert is yet to prove to anyone that he was worthy of that first-round draft pick, and Chad Henne has a big arm but hasn’t shown any consistency. When Gabbert was entering the NFL draft, many kept pointing to his photographic memory; I honestly believe that was a major driving force in his draft status ascension. It seems the only thing that memory has been good for is remembering all the times he has turned the ball over. (I assume Gabbert has had many sleepless nights).
I’m waiting for the Jags to sign hometown hero Tim Tebow midway through this season as a marketing ploy to fill seats. From a pure football standpoint, this isn't a horrible idea either. I’d be willing to argue Tebow as a better player than both Henne and Gabbert. He can’t be much worse, why not give him a chance.
Peyton is on track to break most of the NFL’s major passing records this season, and I’m pretty confident this game will only improve his pace. This one won’t be for the faint of heart, and I would consider leaving the kids at grandma’s this Sunday so they don’t have any chance of witnessing this merciless onslaught. However, the Jaguars can come away with one positive note from this season -- those stunning multi-colored helmets. If you’re going to push the limits of NFL futility, you might as well look good while you’re doing it.