The Denver Broncos needed this win in a bad way and relied heavily on their defense as the offense could muster just 100 yards through the air and almost no run game to speak of. Trevor Siemian comes back soon ... we hope.
Paxton Lynch started out a bit shaky with some overthrows and a three and out, but was able to move the ball fairly well despite an anemic running game. Though the Broncos drives all ended in punts, it was at least comforting to see that they could move the ball on this defense through the air.
Meanwhile, Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars offense was able to basically nothing in the first quarter as the Broncos defense suffocated them on every drive with some stout run defense of their own. The one time the Jaguars did something in the first quarter it was largely do to this fluke play.
The Broncos defense would force a punt anyway and the first quarter would end with no points from either team.
After some horrible field position and a three and out by the Broncos, the Jaguars got themselves a short field and were able to assemble a 30-yard drive for a 47-yard field goal to take the early lead.
Jaguars 3, Broncos 0.
The Broncos got things going in the run game thanks largely to Kapri Bibbs ripping off two big runs. From five yards out, Booker was stopped a few yards out but was grabbed by Russell Okung and dragged into the end zone for the touchdown.
Broncos 7, Jaguars 3.
The Jaguars discovered their passing game in the second quarter, but the Broncos defense came up big in the form of a Chris Harris Jr. interception to stop one of the more impressive Jaguars drives in this game.
At the end of the second quarter, the Broncos got the ball back with less than a minute to go when Khalif Raymond made a good return on the punt and got an extra fifteen yards for a personal foul hit out of bounds on him.
From there, Lynch guided the Broncos to a quick first down and then hit Demaryius Thomas across the middle for a twenty yard gain. That ball was not very well thrown, but Thomas made an incredible play to catch it for the first down.
Brandon McManus would boot it through to end the half.
Broncos 10, Jaguars 3.
The third quarter was almost entirely a defensive battle between the Broncos and Jaguars. The big play came in the form of a Von Miller hit on Bortles who threw right into the waiting arms of Bradley Roby who would take it 51-yards for the touchdown.
Broncos 17, Jaguars 3.
The Jaguars got a drive doing to end the quarter, though, that resulted in a 22 yard touchdown run from Bortles.
It didn’t take long into the fourth quarter for the Jaguars to finally get some worthwhile points. On fourth down, Bortles would take off straight up the middle for 22 yards and the touchdown.
Broncos 17, Jaguars 10.
Lynch continued his poor chemistry with the Broncos star wide receivers as he had Emmanuel Sanders was wide open for a deep pass down the sideline that was overthrown. Cody Latimer caught the next pass at the sticks for a first down conversion to get the Broncos next drive moving in the right direction.
After a short run for barely anything, an incompletion and a false start, the Broncos were faced with a third and 13. With the pass rush in his face, Lynch escaped again and ran for no gain.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, came alive offensively - or the Broncos defense had a second straight week of defensive struggles late in games.
With the Jaguars on the edge of field goal range, the Broncos defense finally made a play with Todd Davis breaking up a pass on third down. Bortles, on fourth down, had his pass batted away by Aqib Talib.
The Broncos had great field position, but Lynch was unable to convert the third down with another terrible throw as he was more concerned about protecting his knee than making an accurate throw to Emmanuel Sanders.
The Jaguars had outgained the Broncos 150-33 in offense in the second half to this point. The Broncos defense stopped the conversion, but Roby was called for pass interference for another conversion. The Broncos would stop the Jaguars on the next set of downs to force a punt.
Lynch tried to do it all on his own with two scrambles, but came up inches short thanks to a great play from Malik Jackson to trip him up to force another Broncos punt with less than three minutes to go in the game.
Denver’s defense came up big on the Jaguars next series to force a three and out with about two minutes to go in the game.
The Broncos ran about 20 seconds off the clock and despite Thomas being interfered with terribly, no call was made. The Jaguars had two timeouts and need to drive 65 yards for the tie.
Von Miller then forced a fumble on Bortles that was recovered by Shane Ray to ice the game. Brandon McManus would go on to kick the field goal to put the game away.
Broncos 20, Jaguars 10.