A look back at the best and worst games between these two teamsThis is the fifth in a series of short articles which will hold up up what I see as Denver's best (and worst) game against each of the Broncos' 2014 opponents. Feel free to disagree with my choices and share your own views in the comments section. Let's lift up Denver's great (and "bummer") moments to keep the history, traditions and rivalries stoked. It should be noted that in many cases the choice was made based upon the final margin of victory (or defeat).
Denver vs the New York Jets
Best Game: September 19, 1976
Score: Denver 46, New York 3
What makes this game great: This was the first win of the 1976 season for the Broncos. It was the first in what would prove to be a 9-win season -- just the third winning season in franchise history. On a drizzly, Sunday afternoon, the Broncos completely dominated the New York Jets. The Broncos made 31 first downs to just 11 for New York. They had 251 rushing yards to the Jets' 92 and 292 passing yards to New York's 113. The Broncos offense converted 9 of 14 third down opportunities while Denver's defense held the Jets to just 2 of 12 third down conversions. The defense also forced two sacks and two interceptions. The game started out close with Denver leading 6 to 3 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Denver exploded. The Jets had five drives in that quarter which ended in three "3 and outs," one "4 and out" and an interception. The Broncos capitalized by scoring after four of those five Jets drives to take a 29-3 lead at the half. The third quarter did not see the Jets fare any better. They had the ball to start the second half but the drive fizzled when they missed a field goal try. Denver responded with a field goal of their own and a "pick-6" on New York's next possession. By the time the dust had settled, the Broncos had marched to a 46-3 victory.
Worst Game: October 31, 1965
Score: New York 45, Denver 10
What makes this game horrible:
The Broncos-Jets rivalry stretches back to the founding of the American Football League. Both teams were charter members of that league and faced each other twice a season during the first seven years. The Jets had won six of their first eleven meetings. After losing the week before, Denver entered the contest with a 3-4 record. This game against the Jets proved to be the second in a three-game losing streak which would extend into losing seven of their last eight games. The only interesting item for the Broncos in this game was that they made both the first and the last scores of the game (a field on their opening drive and a touchdown on their last one of the day). The problem was the 46 points they gave up in between those two scores. In some ways, the box score gives the impression that the game was close: The Jets had the edge in first downs (13 to 10) while the Broncos had the edge in total yards (205 to 203). The big difference though was the fact that Denver committed six turnovers (five interceptions, one fumble) while only taking the ball away three times (two interceptions, one fumble). The first quarter was close with the Broncos leading 3-0 at the end of the quarter. However, that quarter ended with Denver quarterback Mickey Slaughter throwing his first interception of the day. This led to a Jets touchdown. Slaughter threw another interception on the Broncos next drive and New York walked away with a field goal. The Broncos did get an interception during the second quarter but missed a field goal attempt. Following that miss, the Jets added another touchdown then still another after a third Broncos interception. The score at the half: New York 24, Denver 3. Denver changed quarterbacks for the second half but it didn't help. The Jets scored on a touchdown on the half's opening drive then held on to lead 31-3 at the end of three quarters. The Jets added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter before the Broncos could manage another score. Final: Jets 45, Broncos 10.
This Sunday, the Broncos travel east to face the Jets. The Broncos have won three of the last four meetings between these two teams, and given the fact that in 2014 they appear to be teams headed in opposite directions, the Broncos should be able to come away with a win. The question on everyone's mind will be: "Will this be the week that Peyton Manning breaks Brett Favre's career touchdown record?"
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