On Sunday, Nathaniel Hackett will return to his old stomping grounds when the New York Jets take on the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Hackett was the Broncos head coach last season and was fired in December after going 4-11 with the team.

Hackett is now the offensive coordinator of the Jets, but his time in Denver has remained a topic of conversation.

During training camp, Broncos new head coach Sean Payton called out Hackett, calling his 2022 season "one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL."

The Jets players are now rallying around Hackett ahead of the homecoming game for their OC. New York center Connor McGovern said the team wants to get "payback" for Hackett.

"He got thrown under the bus, and then they tried to drag him under the bus," McGovern said (via ESPN). "We wanted to rally around him from the start. He's such a good guy. I don't know how you want to say this -- the opportunity he has -- but we want to make the most of him being our play-caller."

Jets tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker agreed with McGovern, saying they are going to "rally behind Hack, regardless."

"I think this week there may be a little bigger chip on some of the guys' shoulders just because the comments that were made before."

Payton later called the comments a "mistake," and Hackett, at least publicly, has not said the comments impact his emotions heading into Week 5. Unlike the players, he is not putting any emphasis on himself as they approach Sunday's game.

"Let's put it this way, everyone," Hackett said. "This game is about those guys out on that field. This game is not about me, it's about me helping them during the week. I just want the guys to go out there and play a great game."

McGovern had only positive things to say about Hackett, despite the offense having many moments of struggle this season without quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

"He's a phenomenal coach, crazy smart, and he makes meetings really fun and easy to learn. So, he's definitely a guy that you want to play hard for. Then to go to a place that was dogging a guy that's so nice and so good at his job, and for him to get thrown under the bus and dragged through the mud, you definitely want to play that much harder."

The Broncos and Jets are both off to slow starts, sitting at 1-3. The Jets' year started with an Achilles injury to Rodgers that derailed their entire season, seemingly before the season could begin. Behind quarterback Zach Wilson, who has been criticized due to his play before, the team had a surprising Week 1 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills.

It has been all downhill from there, but the Jets offense did see a spark last week when they nearly defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Wilson outplayed Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the win, going 28-for-39 with 245 yards and two touchdowns, compared to the former MVP who went 18-for-30 with 203 yards, one touchdown and two picks.

The Jets should been feeling good after the near win. Almost beating a top-tier team, combined with the Hackett "revenge" they speak of, will likely give them extra motivation to come out with their best against the Broncos.

Denver's only win this season is against the struggling Chicago Bears, who they defeated 31-28. Their losses include going down 17-16 to the Las Vegas Raiders, 35-33 to the Washington Commanders and what I will bet will be the worst loss of any team this season, a 70-20 defeat to the Miami Dolphins