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Mile High Morning: NFL experts overwhelmingly favor Broncos to win at home in Week 3


The Lead

After winning back-to-back games on the road against the Giants and Jaguars, Denver is 2-0 heading into their first home game of the season. As they host the Jets in Week 3, the Broncos enter as the heavy favorites to come out with a win on Sunday.

Denver has impressed on both sides of the football through two weeks. QB Teddy Bridgewater has been calm and collected, racking up 592 yards, four touchdowns and no turnovers through two weeks. 

On defense, OLB Von Miller has made a roaring comeback after missing 2020 with an ankle injury, recording three sacks in the first two games. Rookie CB Pat Surtain II had both his first career start and his first career interception in Week 2, while S Kareem Jackson recorded the 20th interception of his career.

With both the offense and defense making big plays for the Broncos, it's easy to see why they are the favorites at home in Week 3.

"Teddy Bridgewater will outplay the top two picks in the draft [Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence and Jets QB Zach Wilson] in successive weeks,"'s Gregg Rosenthal said. "That's partly because he doesn't have to face the Broncos' secondary, where Patrick Surtain II flashed last week in his first start and Kareem Jackson ages in reverse. Zach Wilson is overthinking, trying to calculate what he can get away with and when to leave the pocket. Playing a Vic Fangio defense in Denver figures to be another expensive lesson."

Bridgewater's unflustered play under pressure has helped to guide Denver to an undefeated start to the season, and Sunday should be no different, according to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco.

"The Broncos are 2-0 behind their defense and solid play by Teddy Bridgewater," Prisco said. "The Jets have had offensive woes, which is never a good thing in Denver against that defense. Look for Zach Wilson to struggle again. Denver big."

Prisco is not alone in his belief that Jets QB Zach Wilson, currently in his rookie season, is going to have a hard time against the Broncos defense.

"Vic Fangio is going to WRECK Zach Wilson," CBS Sports' Will Brinson said. "If the Jets had a defense I would agree they could mess with the Broncos, but Teddy Bridgewater is playing some great football right now, he's challenging vertically and the Broncos offense isn't playing scared. This is a blowout."

The Athletic's Sheil Kapadia also agreed that Wilson would be overwhelmed by Denver's top-ranked defense.

The staff of the Athletic unanimously chose the Broncos over the Jets in Week 3, with all eight reporters and analysts projecting a win for Denver. The staff of Sports Illustrated's MMQB also unanimously predicted a Broncos victory, with five experts believing Denver will move to 3-0.

Below the Fold

That Surtain's first career interception came in his second NFL game was serendipitous. Twenty-three years ago, his father, Patrick Surtain Sr., secured his first interception also in the second game of his career.

"Surtain Sr. was an elite corner during his career, totaling 37 interceptions and 105 passes defensed, playing seven years for the Dolphins and four for the Chiefs," The Gazette's George Stoia said. "And, oddly enough, also had his first interception in Week 2 of his rookie season — intercepting Buffalo's Rob Johnson."

Surtain Sr. had an impressive, 11-year tenure in the NFL, playing from 1998-2008. He was elected to three Pro Bowls over his career, but he's confident that his son will be even better.

"I had a great career, but I think his trajectory is off the charts," Surtain Sr. said. "If he continues to be the person he is and puts his head down and continues to work and stay healthy, I think he could surpass me. And that's, as a dad, ultimately what you want for your child."

Surtain will make his second career start this weekend, in place of CB Ronald Darby. As Surtain looks to build on his explosive performance in Week 2, Surtain's father knows that this is just the beginning. 

"I'm excited to see what the future holds for him because I think it's really, really bright," Surtain Sr. said.

The Unclassifieds

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