Growing pains starring Darnold - date with Bears next up

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Growing pains starring Darnold - date with Bears next up

The point spread in last week’s game threw us for a loop. The people who know about such things and do so for a living can be found at Sportsbook Review, a site that features the latest, breaking odds at all the major online sportsbooks and particularly those at 5Dimes, the sports bettors choice in online gambling. The line told us that the Minnesota Vikings, a powerhouse NFC team and one that boasts the league's most prolific pass/catch combination in Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen, were just 2 ½ point road favorites over the Jets.

Whatever looks too good to be true usually is and we tried to move on but the lingering notion that somehow the Jets were now perceived as a rival to a legitimate Super Bowl contender gave us cause for pause. Gang Green has come a long way baby, and it appeared they finally found their elusive quarterback to bark calls under center for the next decade. The scenario we had painted and the images conjured gave us a momentary reprieve from the reality that our boys were just a .500 team before welcoming Minnesota to Jersey. We thought about that for a moment and then returned to our senses. How could anyone not bet Minnesota under a field goal? But then again, it was a bet straight out of the Squares playbook. Laying points on the road is always a recipe for disaster if you make it a habit so why not be sharp, go the other way, and grab the small number with the upstart J-E-T-S?

New York had won their last two games over the Broncos and Colts but those teams were not in the same rarefied air as the Vikings. Nobody is expecting Denver or Indianapolis to even make the playoffs let alone contend for a Super Bowl but then again, why are the Jets such a small underdog to the invading Norsemen? We struggled mightily before deciding to pass and let the chips (not ours) fall where they may. We learned long ago that keeping our fingers crossed and saying a little prayer that our favorite team wins can often have the opposite effect, particularly if you’re a Jets’ fan circa 2011-present.

Ultimately, the game on Sunday proved no different than most in recent memory and the Jets were no match for the men in purple. When the dust settled the Vikings made that point spread laughable which, by the way, rose to three at kickoff. Minnesota devoured our boys 37-17 but worst of all was that Sam Darnold, our rookie savior under center, looked every bit like a rookie and nothing like a savior. So now Gang Green limps into Soldier Field where Mitchell Trubisky and the boys will be waiting to shred the New York defense as surgically as the Vikings did last week.

What the Jets need is Darnold to regain his confidence and the administration who anointed him as the No. 3 overall pick in the draft to give the kid a few tools in the woodshed. Right now he is devoid of any top-tier targets but to mortgage, the future at this stage of the game seems a bit silly. New England is poised to roll to another AFC East title so that leaves a wild card possibility…or should I say impossibility. The only detriment to doing nothing is the possibility that Darnold will regress rather than progress. As of this writing, 5dimes is showing New York at 7 ½ point road dogs to the Bears. At this point in time, and with the receiving corps in tatters, Chicago might not be a bad bet.

Hopefully, the Jets can get Darnold at least a little help to make the rest of the season interesting while not surrendering any high draft picks in the process. Let the Cowboys have Amari Cooper. He's a Band-Aid for a paper tiger and cost Dallas a hefty price. The Jets need more than one piece to the puzzle but Darnold will prove in the long run that he’s the right man for the job.

Tags: sam darnold


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