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Jets blow doors off Broncos 34-16

Henry Chisholm Avatar
October 7, 2018

As time expired, Jets safety Marcus Maye picked off Case Keenum and returned it 103 yards. But the Broncos caught a break, Courtland Sutton tripped Maye up inside the one-yard line, making the return the longest in NFL history to not score a touchdown. That was about the only break Denver caught.

The Jets beat the Broncos 34-16 at the Meadowlands on Sunday afternoon. Denver’s offense earned next to nothing and a leaky defensive effort conceded countless big gains. The loss drops the Broncos’ record to 2-3, leaving them three games back of the AFC West-leading Chiefs.

But the game didn’t seem primed for a blowout in the early going. New York, which had won just one of four contests entering Week 5, allowed the Broncos’ rookie running backs to build momentum early. Third-round pick Royce Freeman got the game’s first three touches, earning a first down, and undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay took the next play 29 yards.

Despite early success on the ground, the Broncos’ strayed from their running game as the game progressed and the deficit grew. Denver only ran the ball four times in the second half but earned 28 yards on those carries. Both Freeman and Lindsay averaged more than five yards per run.

The Broncos’ passing attack didn’t get rolling until the game was firmly out of reach. The Jets got to Keenum four times for sacks. Keenum put together solid numbers – 35 completions on 51 attempts for 377 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Keenum’s first touchdown of the day came on the Broncos’ second possession, five minutes into the game. Defensive lineman Adam Gotsis set his offense up at the Jets’ 20 when he forced and recovered a Bilal Powell fumble. Three plays later, Keenum rolled out of the pocket and hit Sutton on a crossing route in the back corner of the end zone for the rookie’s first career touchdown.

The Jets responded with a touchdown of their own, early in the second quarter. Crowell broke free for 77 yards after breaking the ankles of both Bradley Roby and Darian Stewart. He flew down the sideline, where Adam Jones nearly ran him down but made his way into the end zone. This was the first of a few big plays Denver allowed.

Bradley Roby consistently got torched by Jets receiver Robby Anderson. Early in the first quarter, Anderson hesitated at the top of his route and blew by Roby down the sideline for 1 76-yard touchdown to take a 14-7 lead. Ten minutes later Anderson burned Roby again, this time for a 35-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21-10 before halftime, and the Jets kept rolling from there.

Shane Ray gave the Broncos a chance to respond when he batted a ball up in the air on the first possession of the second half. Derek Wolfe caught it, setting the Broncos up near midfield. The offense netted 10 yards on four passing plays before punting.

The Jets matched a pair of Broncos’ three-and-outs with two field goal drives, and Denver faced a 27-10 deficit early in the fourth quarter. The Broncos put together three 70-plus yard drives, with one ending in a failed fourth down conversion attempt, the next resulting in a Demaryius Thomas touchdown and the third ending the game with Keenum’s interception.


Courtland Sutton proved again on Sunday that can be a game-changer in the NFL. He only caught two passes for 18 yards, including the first-quarter touchdown, but there was potential for more. A nearly 50-yard gain was negated by an offensive pass interference call. He got a hand on a near-touchdown in the back of the end zone when the ball was 12 feet in the air. He also kept the margin of defeat to 18 with his touchdown-saving tackle.


Demaryius Thomas gained a step on the coverage late in the game and hauled in a 42-yard touchdown dime from Keenum. The game had been decided much earlier, but the play was a frustrating reminder of the potential the Broncos have as an offense.


+1 – the Broncos’ turnover margin on Sunday

1-12 – the Broncos’ record in their last 13 road games

323 — Jets rushing yards, 219 for Crowell and 99 for Powell


The Broncos host the Rams (4-0) next Sunday at Broncos Stadium trying to avoid their third-straight loss after a hot start to the season. Former Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips leads one of the league’s dominant defenses in Los Angeles, but he’ll be without former-Bronco Aqib Talib.


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