You could see the Denver Broncos never quit during their eight-game losing streak. They losses piled on, but they all stuck together and kept grinding. Grinding for this moment. A win.
In all three phases, Denver dominated. The 23-0 shutout win over the New York Jets is exactly the kind of win that could save jobs in Dove Valley come January.
A few weeks ago I called Broncos Country a bit soft this season as Denver faltered and the losing streak grew to historic lengths. There was a lot of angry disagreement, but with almost 7000 no shows that is a big chunk of the fan base who won’t support the team through thick and thin.
The Broncos opened the game up with an immediately Trevor Siemian pass deep down the sidelines to a well-covered Emmanuel Sanders for an incompletion. A good four-yard run later and an offsides by the Jets gave Denver a manageable third and one.
That was something that C.J. Anderson was able to convert with some nifty tackle-breaking running to get back and across the line of scrimmage.
Any easy pitch and catch from Siemian to a wide open Demaryius Thomas across the middle of the field resulted in a 13-yard gain.
Two plays later, Siemian threw the ball up on another go route where Cody Latimer made a great play on the ball to come down with the catch in the red zone. Two plays later again, Siemian overthrew Thomas by a mile in the end zone to end the drive.
Broncos 3, Jets 0.
The defense for the Broncos came out ready to play with two run stops and on third down Brandon Marshall strip-sacked Josh McCown with the ball being recovered by Adam Gotsis to setup the Broncos with great field position.
Whatever issues Siemian had last week, he played with no fear early in this game. He took a big hit to the head, but threw the ball up for Thomas in the end zone who fought his way up the ladder to come down with it for the touchdown.
Broncos 10, Jets 0.
McCown was immediately sacked by Shelby Harris on the first play of the Jets next drive and Bilal Powell is stopped for a one-yard loss. And on third and 19, the Jets fail to convert a completion that wouldn’t have netted many yards anyway.
The Jets defense finally woke up from their slumber on the next drive, stuffing Denver on two straight runs to open the series. Siemian, on third and eight from midfield, went to Thomas again who climbed the ladder again to catch the high pass for the first down for a 15-yard gain.
After an impressive first down run by Siemian, the Broncos were knocking on the red zone door for the third time in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with the Broncos stopped inside the red zone.
First-quarter #NYJvsDEN stats:— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 10, 2017
First downs: NYJ 0 DEN 7
3rd-down conv: NYJ 0/2 DEN 4/6
Yards: NYJ -14 DEN 117
Yards/play: NYJ -2.3 DEN 5.1
Rush yards: NYJ -2 DEN 34
Yards/carry: NYJ -0.7 DEN 3.1
Pass yards: NYJ -12 DEN 83
Yards/pass play: NYJ -4.0 DEN 6.9
Brandon McManus opened things up in the second quarter by hooking the kick wide left to end the scoring opportunity set up by the offense.
Finally, the Jets got things going on their first drive in the second quarter on a quick pass from McCown to Robbie Anderson for the teams first first down of the day. Three plays later on third and two, McCown pitched to Powell who somehow got the first down to extend the drive.
McCown ran for the next first down, but was sandwiched on the tackle by Aqib Talib and Jamal Carter and was injured on the play. Bryce Petty came in for two plays, but McCown was anxious to get back out there.
His next pass was well underthrown and intercepted by Darian Stewart to end the Jets drive into the Denver’s territory.
The big turnover was not capitalized on as Denver’s offense went three and out immediately. The Jets too went three and out on their next series, then things got interesting.
After what looked like another three and out, the Broncos were faced with a fourth and one near midfield when Siemian hit Thomas outside. Though the pass was a bit hit, Thomas hauled it in for the toe tapped first down reception in Jets territory.
The drive soon stalled from there, but McManus was able to shake off his earlier miss to hit a perfect 53-yard field goal with 30 seconds left in the first half.
Broncos 13, Jets 0.
McCown nearly had disaster strike on his first pass attempt of the second half as Robbie Anderson tipped the ball up with four Broncos defenders all around him. Somehow the ball landed right in Anderson’s gut for the catch and a nine-yard gain.
That good play didn’t lead to much as the Jets punted the ball away four plays later after Shaquil Barrett hurried a McCown third-down throw which fell incomplete.
After getting set up with great field position by a strong Jordan Taylor punt return, Denver’s next drive got going on a Siemian to Emmanuel Sanders connection for 16-yards to get the Broncos into field goal range.
Jeff Heuerman dropped a wide open catch inside the ten, which would have killed drives in previous weeks. But this week was not like previous weeks as Siemian hit Latimer outside on the very next throw to get the first down at the Jets 14-yard line.
Siemian then hit Anderson on a short pass in the flat for 14-yard gain for a first down and goal at the one inch line, where Anderson would get stuffed for no gain on two straight runs. On third and goal, Andy Janovich took the inside handoff right up the gut for the touchdown to blow the game wide open for Denver.
Broncos 20, Jets 0.
Pending the XP rhe #Broncos now have 20 points in the game...— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) December 10, 2017
Making this only the second time they've done so since Sept 17.
They lost that other game (Eagles blew them out).
The Jets next drive was stalled out with another three and out. The Broncos defense had completely suffocated the opposing offense all game long. Through two and a half quarters, the Jets had just 27 yards passing and one first down when throwing the ball and 56 total yards.
Siemian and the offense was not able to capitalize as they traded three and outs with the Jets offense.
Von Miller got himself involved on the Jets next drive with a sack on Josh McCown to put himself in a category of his own with his sixth 10+ sack season.
A play later, McCown was knocked out of the game and Bryce Petty would enter the game with the Jets near midfield. Three plays later, the Jets were faced with a fourth and three from the Broncos 41-yard line.
Pryce would throw a terrible pass that was at least 10-yard overthrown on a 10-yard pass to give the ball back to Denver.
Siemian would immediately find Thomas wide open on a skinny post over the middle of the field for a 25-yard catch and run. The third quarter would come to an end with a run from Devontae Booker for no gain.
Early in the fourth quarter, on third and six, Siemian threw a quick pass outside to Thomas who danced his way for seven yards and a first down. From there the Broncos offensive line took over and drove their running backs down inside the red zone.
But when the Broncos went back to the pass things didn’t work out so well and Siemian was sacked to force another field goal attempt from McManus.
Broncos 23, Jets 0.
The game got incredibly boring after that with both teams turning in anemic offensive effort as they traded punts several times, but as the time ticked down under six minutes the Jets started a drive from their own 11-yard line.
After a one-yard loss on first down, Petty was flushed out of the pocket and ran it out to the 17-yard line. On third down, with their remaining chances of scoring running out, the throw was short and incomplete and yet another punt.
That was the Jets sixth three and out on the day with the Jets gaining just 98 total yards of offense to that point.
Jets possessions today:— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) December 10, 2017
End of Half
Turnover on Downs