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Broncos vs. Jets: Denver continues to flounder under Vance Joseph

The Denver Broncos choked away the game against the New York Jets in all phases as they lose 34-16.

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NFL: Denver Broncos at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For the Denver Broncos (2-3), they came into this game desperate for a win and instead found themselves blown out on the road by the New York Jets (2-3) who set a franchise record in rushing yards with 325 rushing yards on the ground.

The 34-16 defeat, could send the Broncos into a tailspin as they host the juggernaut Super Bowl contender Los Angeles Rams next week and turn that around on a short week road trip to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.

How much more losing will John Elway take from this team is the big question moving forward.

First Quarter

The Denver Broncos lose the opening coin toss, but the New York Jets chose to defer to give the Broncos the ball first to open up the game.

Phillip Lindsay took the opening kickoff out of the end zone to the 20-yard line, but a holding call push them back to their own 10-yard line to start the opening offensive drive.

Case Keenum, from the shotgun, throws it outside to Royce Freeman who gained six yards on the play. Freeman took the next hand-off and was dragged down just short of the first down marker. On third and short, Andy Janovich made a key block to give Freeman just enough room to gain the first down.

Lindsay got his first touch on offense on the next play, bursting through the hole outside for an impressive 29-yard gain out to midfield.

Keenum was nearly sacked on first down, but was able to throw the ball into the dirt. Lindsay was able to gain four yards on second down to setup a third and six. From the shotgun, Keenum looked for Emmanuel Sanders who dropped the pass to bring out the punt unit.

Colby Wadman delivered his first punt for a 29-yard punt to pin the Jets at their own 17-yard line.

The Jets and Sam Darnold took the field for the first time in the game from their own 17-yard line. Bilal Powell was stuffed on first down after a one-yard gain. Powell took a second-down handoff for two yards forcing a fumble that Adam Gotsis recovered at the Jets 20-yard line.

Lindsay took the first hand-off and followed a block from Courtland Sutton to pick up 12-yards on first down to setup a first and goal opportunity.

After a short one-yard gain by Lindsay, Keenum looked to the end zone for Sutton for the touchdown.

Broncos 7, Jets 0.

The Jets returned the kickoff out to the 25-yard line to give them some better field position on this drive.

Von Miller batted down Darnold’s first pass attempt out into the flat to a running back on first down. Isaiah Crowell had a wide open hold as Miller rushed wide to gain 12-yards on second down.

Crowell was stuffed behind the line, but somehow got through the tackles to gain five yards on what should have been a busted play. Darnold swung his next pass into the flat to his tight end for 10-yards.

Powell took the next hand-off for four-yards down to the Broncos 41-yard line. Powell burst through a hole on the next play for 15-yards down to the Broncos 25-yard line.

Shane Ray made a big stop in the run game for a 3-yard loss on first down. Ray was lined up as a defensive end on the play in a creative lineup from Joe Woods. Robby Anderson caused Chris Harris Jr. to lose his footing to get open for a 13-yard gain to setup a third and a short one that Sam Darnold converted on a quarterback sneak.

Crowell was stuffed on first down by Domata Peko. Darnolds next pass sailed too high to an open wide receiver to force third down. On third and nine, Darnold overthrew his wide receiver in the end zone. Darian Stewart basically tackled the receiver, which was not called.

The Jets then shanked the field goal to keep the Broncos seven-point lead intact.

The Jets led off with a defensive holding on the first play of the Broncos next drive. Freeman then took the next hand-off outside for four yards. On play-action, Keenum hit DaeSean Hamilton over the middle for 18-yards.

Keenum tossed it quick outside to Sanders who took it 12-yards on first down. A hand-off outside to Lindsay was read perfectly by the Jets for a 3-yard loss. Lindsay gained it back on the next pass, but a holding call by - you guessed it - Garett Bolles negated the play to end the first quarter.

Second Quarter

The Broncos start the second quarter from their own 46-yard line. On second and 23, Lindsay gained five yards on the ground. Keenum then threw it short to Tim Patrick to force the punt.

Wadman’s punt was poor, just 20-yards to set the Jets up at their own 23-yard line.

Crowell takes the first hand-off 77-yards for the touchdown on the Jets very first play from scrimmage on that next drive.

Broncos 7, Jets 7.

Needing a big offensive drive to answer, Keenum starting things off well with a short pass to Jeff Heuerman who took it 14-yards for the first down.

Keenum’s next throw was an overthrow to Heuerman to setup a second and 10. A short two yard run outside by Lindsay forced a third and long for Keenum who hasn’t been looking beyond those short throws for a few weeks now.

He never got the chance to look beyond the short throw as he was met with inside pressure for the sack and another Broncos punt.

Wadman finally got a nice punt off for 44-yards to give the Jets the ball back at their own 23-yard line.

On the Jets first carry, Justin Simmons was able to chase down Powell for just a one-yard gain. Darnold’s next pass was batted down by Derek Wolfe to force a third and long. Darnold, from the shotgun, went deep to Robby Anderson for the streaking 76-yard touchdown reception.

Jets 14, Broncos 7.

Keenum’s first pass was floated deep to Sanders that was nearly intercepted. Keenum with an inside hand-off out of the shotgun was blown up for a two-yard loss for Freeman. On third and 12, Keenum held the ball too long and was obliterated for the sack and a timely three and out for the offense.

From their own 17-yard line, Wadman boomed a 49-yard punt to the Jets 34-yard line.

After a short three-yard gain on first down, Darnold was flushed outside and misfired on a pass down the field to force a third down. Darnold overthrew his intended wide receiver, with Von Miller being held (not called) and Chris Harris Jr. there to break up the pass to force the punt.

A great punt followed by excellent coverage down field pinned the Broncos at their own 14-yard line to start their next drive.

Lindsay took a toss outside for a short loss on first down. Lindsay then cut outside on the next hand-off for nine yards and Keenum followed-up with a third down conversion pass to Sanders for five-yards.

Keenum, from the shotgun, tossed a pass into the flat to Freeman that was behind him for an incompletion. The play would have been blown up for no gain anyway as Freeman was well covered.

On second down, Keenum with the play-action tossed a perfect pass to Demaryius Thomas at the sticks for the first down reception.

Keenum found Thomas deep down the sidelines for a 31-yard reception into Jets territory at the Jets 31-yard line that he followed up with another play-action pass to Hamilton over the middle for 24-yards and a first and goal at the Jets seven-yard line.

A miscommunication with Heuerman negated the first attempt. On second down, Keenum changed the play at the line of scrimmage and handed off to Freeman who bounced it outside for a two-yard gain. However, an illegal shift negated the play and pushed the Broncos back to the 12-yard line on second down.

Keenum didn’t see anything he liked on second down and threw the ball away to setup a third and goal at the 12. From the shotgun, Keenum went to the end zone high and incomplete.

Brandon McManus booted the 30-yard field goal through to close the gap for Denver.

Jets 14, Broncos 10.

On the opening kickoff, Devontae Booker made a great open field tackle taking out the legs of the runner. However, there were penalties on both teams to reset the kickoff. McManus booted the next kickoff out of the end zone.

Crowell took the first hand-off for five yards and the next one for four-yards to setup a third and one. Peko had the tackle for the loss behind the line, but Crowell fought through it for the first down.

Powell took the next hand-off for a quick nine yards on first down to take them to the two-minute warning. An incomplete pass to Quincy Enunwa forced a third and one, which Darnold was able to sneak his way through for the keeper.

Another strong first-down run by Powell also brought the Broncos a 12-man penalty. The Jets took the five-yard penalty to bring them across midfield with 1:29 left in the first half.

Darnold set up a screen pass on the next play to Tomlinson for a 12-yard gain to put the Jets into field goal range.

Bradley Roby was roasted by Robby Anderson again for the touchdown reception to blow the game wide open for the Jets.

Jets 21, Broncos 10.

Keenum threw it short to Booker on the next play, but a 15-yard penalty pushed the Broncos out to the 49-yard line with 1:06 left in the half. Keenum held the ball forever on the next play and was strip/sacked, but the Broncos recovered.

A short four-yard pass led to a third and forever for Denver that predictable ended with a deep pass to no one and a punt.

Wadman punted all the way back to the four-yard line, where Roberts was buried at the six-yard line to end the half.

Third Quarter

The Jets will receive the ball first in the second half with a 21-10 lead.

Starting from their own 12-yard line, Crowell took the opening hand-off 54-yards to keep the Jets rolling in the second half.

Crowell was dumped for a two-yard loss by Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. on the next play. Chris Harris Jr. got into the mix again on the next play deep with a defended pass in the end zone to force a third and long.

Darnold had his next pass batted up into the air and intercepted by Derek Wolfe to stop what was likely going to be a huge scoring drive to open the second half.

Keenum went outside to Thomas who made the catch and turned upfield for 18-yards and a first down. On the play-action, Keenum’s next pass arrived way too late as Clairborne cut underneath the pass for thew near interception.

On the next play, Keenum went play-action again and tossed it short over the middle to Freeman for a short four-yard gain. On third and six, Keenum took the timely sack to knock the Broncos out of field goal range.

A fumble on the ensuing punt was ruled a catch for some reason, so the Jets avoided a costly turnover that was likely incorrectly called on the field.

Head Coach Vance Joseph challenged the call, but the referees refused to overturn it.

After a short run by Powell, the Jets were called for holding on a sweep that pushed them back into a 2nd and 15. Darnold found his tight end for a short gain to setup a third and 12.

From the shotgun, Darnold went on a deep out to Kearse for a first down over Roby on a 14-yard gain. Two plays later, the Broncos defense left the B-gap wide open that Powell exploited for a 16-yard gain.

Two run plays later and another first down, Bradley Chubb had his ankles broken twice on a single play trying to tackle Crowell in the open field. Crowell gained 12-yards and another first down.

From the Broncos 30-yard line, Darnold and Jets were faced with a third and nine. From the shotgun, Darnold looked to the first down marker for Kearse, but Roby finally made a play and broke up the pass to force a 49-yard field goal attempt.

Jets 24, Broncos 10.

Lindsay spun out of a tackle on a short first-down pass on first down, but was stuffed for no gain on second down. On third and five, Keenum found Sutton open for a short pass who broke free for a huge 49-yard gain that was called back for offensive pass interference.

So on third and 15, Keenum throws it short to Lindsay for an apparent screen pass that goes for 10-yards and the punt.

The Broncos defense finally got going on the next drive to force a quick three and out on the Jets.

A great punt by the Jets pinned the Broncos to their own 5-yard line. Keenum was quite anxious in the pocket of his own end zone that bounced five yards in front of Sutton’s feet. On second down, Lindsay gained no yards on an inside hand-off.

On third and long, Keenum throws short to a well covered Booker and the ball was nearly picked off the deflection for the easy three and out.

Andre Roberts took the punt all the way back to the Broncos 10-yard line for a first and goal to start the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The final quarter begins with a first and 10 from the Broncos 11-yard line for the Jets after a big punt return.

Two plays later, on a third and two, Darnold was sacked by Domata Peko and Derek Wolfe to force a field goal attempt.

Jets 27, Broncos 10.

Royce Freeman got his fifth carry in the game on first down who bounced it outside for a 24-yard gain. Sanders got a quick 13-yard reception from Keenum on the next play to put the Broncos down to the Jets 38-yard line.

Tight end Matt LaCosse got an eight-yard reception on the next play, then Sanders again for five-yards and a first down.

Keenum took a short reception over the middle for five yards on the next play to get the Broncos down to the Jets 19-yard line. Lindsay then took the inside hand-off for five yards and another Broncos first down.

Keenum, from the shotgun, overthrew Sutton in the back corner of the end zone on first down. On second down, Keenum threw it short to Sanders outside for four-yards that resulted in an injury to Sutton who came off the field. He had his ankle rolled up on.

On third and six, Keenum went short to Lindsay who was stopped three-yards short of the sticks.

On fourth and three, the Broncos go for it. Keenum nearly took the sack then threw it up for grabs in the end zone incomplete.

Two plays later, Crowell easily bounced it outside for a 38-yard gain to get the Jets out to midfield that Powerll followed up with a 38-yard gain.

Two plays later, the Jets had two run plays stuffed to force a third and fourteen. Darnold, from the shotgun, looked deep for the touchdown to Terrelle Pryor who juggled and came down with the catch against Isaac Yiadom.

Jets 34, Broncos 10.

To wrap things up, the Broncos continued to try and play football with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

Demaryius Thomas made a great catch late in the game on a poorly underthrown ball for a touchdown to make the game look less of a blowout than it actually was.

Jets 34, Broncos 16.


The Denver Broncos will be without right tackle Jared Veldheer and cornerback Tramaine Brock in this game, which means Billy Turner will get the start at right tackle and we’ll see a lot of Isaac Yiadom in this game.

The other players inactive this week are safety Shamarko Thomas, linebacker Alexander Johnson, defensive end DeMarcus Walker, quarterback Kevin Hogan, and guard Sam Jones.

For the Jets, they will be without cornerback Trumaine Johnson, wide receiver Charone Peake, tight end Neal Sterling, linebacker Tarell Basham, offensive lineman Dakota Dozier, defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi, and cornerback Derrick Jones.


The Denver Broncos (2-2) look to get back to some winning ways against the struggling New York Jets (1-3).

To do that, the Broncos likely need to get better offensive production from Case Keenum. Part of that will include a strong rushing attack, which Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave is looking to expand.

“Royce has done a super job breaking tackles after contact,” Musgrave said on Thursday. “Both he and Phillip [Lindsay] are running really well. We need to get more of them, more turns, take the training wheels off of those two young guys and let them go because they’re doing great. When I talk about that, I’m talking to myself: Take the training wheels off.”

The Broncos philosophy has been more about running to step up the pass than it has been to run, run, run. However, if they are producing chunk yardage in the run game, there should be no reason to not do more of it.

Defensively, Von Miller and the Broncos should be able to make Sam Darnold feel uncomfortable all game long. It should be an easy win for Denver, but nothing ever seems to come easy for this team nowadays.

Here is how to watch.

TV Schedule

When: Sunday , October 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Mile High time

Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey

Channel: CBS / Channel 20

Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst), Evan Washburn (sideline reporting)

Radio: KOA - 850 AM | 94.1 FM & The Fox - 103.5 FM | Spanish Radio KNVR 1150 AM

Online Streaming

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Game Pass


Broncos injury report

Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Marquette King P Thigh (right) DNP DNP DNP DOUBTFUL
Jared Veldheer T Knee DNP DNP DNP OUT
Brandon Marshall ILB Knee FULL FULL FULL

Rams injury report

Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Michael Brockers DT NIR / Ankle DNP DNP (ANKLE) FULL
Brandin Cooks WR Concussion DNP LIMITED FULL
Cooper Kupp WR Concussion DNP LIMITED FULL
Andrew Whitworth T NIR DNP DNP FULL
Greg Zuerlein K Groin (right) DNP LIMITED LIMITED OUT


The Broncos opened 2.5-point underdogs, but the line has slowly been moving in the Broncos favor and now stands at EVEN or -1 in most places.

Matchup History

These teams do not play all that often, but the Broncos do own a 19-15-1 all-time mark against the Jets. That includes a winning record on the road at 8-7-1. In recent history, the Broncos 5-1 against the Jets dating back to 2005.

MHR Radio

Ian St. Clair and Adam Malnati, in their latest podcast, previewed the ways the Broncos can be road warriors against the Jets on Sunday.

Social Media Information

MHR Facebook Page: Mile High Report: A Denver Broncos Blog

MHR Twitter: Follow @MileHighReport

MHR Instagram: Follow @MileHighReport

Denver Broncos Fan Group: Denver Broncos Football

Broncos Regular Season Schedule 2018

Wk Date Opponent Time (MT) TV
Wk Date Opponent Time (MT) TV
1 Sep 9 vs Seattle Seahawks W 27-24 FOX
2 Sep 16 vs Oakland Raiders W 20-19 CBS
3 Sep 23 at Baltimore Ravens L 27-14 CBS
4 Oct 1 vs Kansas City Chiefs (MNF) L 27-23 ESPN
5 Oct. 7 at New York Jets L 34-16 CBS
6 Oct 14 vs Los Angeles Rams L 23-20 FOX
7 Oct 18 at Arizona Cardinals (TNF) W 45-10 FOX
8 Oct 28 at Kansas City Chiefs L 30-23 CBS
9 Nov 4 vs Houston Texans L 19-17 CBS
10 Nov 11 BYE
11 Nov 18 at Los Angeles Chargers W 23-22 CBS
12 Nov 25 vs Pittsburgh Steelers W 24-17 CBS
13 Dec 2 at Cincinnati Bengals W 24-10 CBS
14 Dec 9 at San Francisco 49ers L 20-14 CBS
15 Dec 15 vs Cleveland Browns L 17-16 NFLN
16 Dec 24 at Oakland Raiders (MNF) L 27-14 ESPN
17 Dec 30 vs Los Angeles Chargers 2:25 PM CBS