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Final Score: Broncos should start trading away players after epic second half collapse vs. Jets

The Denver Broncos seem to be on the verge of tanking their season. A number one overall 2024 NFL Draft pick would be the reset this franchise might need at this point.

New York Jets v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos came out in the first half and looked like they were going to easily beat the New York Jets. The Jets were looking pretty bad on offense and defense, but Denver could not close the deal settling for field goals instead of touchdowns on goal line opportunities.

They would fall behind in the second half and would make an attempt to come back to win the game late, but the damage was done by a disastrous start to the second half. They would have five drives where they would net -18 total yards and the Jets would score drive after drive to take a two score lead.

While that awful streak ended late in the fourth quarter on a big third down completion to Jerry Jeudy, the damage of those five drives was more than enough to sink Denver’s chances of winning this game. At 1-4 with three losses against really bad football teams likely sets Denver on course for a very high 2024 NFL Draft pick.

Broncos vs. Jets final score

TEAM 1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
TEAM 1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
New York Jets 5 3 10 13 31
Denver Broncos 7 6 0 8 21

First Quarter

The Broncos won the coin toss for the fifth time in five games this season and elected to defer. After the defense forced a three and out thanks in large part to a Nik Bonitto sack, Marvin Mims Jr. muffed the punt and fumbled to give the Jets a first down at the Denver 20 yard line.

Denver avoided disaster after the Jets shot themselves in the foot with a false start penalty and were able to come away with allowing just three points after the turnover.

Jets 3, Broncos 0.

On the Broncos first possession, they faced a third and medium right out of the gate. However, Russell Wilson was able to find a seam and scrambled for 17 yards and a first down to get things going for Denver early. Jaleel McLaughlin then took an outside pitch for a 38-yard gain into the Jets red zone.

After trading some penalties, Wilson found McLaughlin on a screen pass who bobbled the catch at first but then burst through the running lane for a touchdown to put Denver in the lead after their first drive.

McLaughlin was responsible for 63 total yards on that opening drive for Denver.

Broncos 7, Jets 3.

The Broncos defense continued to play well stopping the Jets on their next drive, but an outstanding punt pinned Denver’s offense deep inside their own 5 yard line. On the first play, Russell Wilson was pressured and attempted to throw the ball away. The officials called it intentional grounding and gave the Jets a safety.

Broncos 7, Jets 5.

Whatever Vance Joseph did to the defense at halftime last week against the Chicago Bears had carried over into this game. After two sacks on the Jets next drive - one by Nik Bonitto and the other from Zach Allen - they were punting from inside their own 10 yard line on a 4th down and 34.

Denver’s next drive was also productive with another screen pass, this time to Samaje Perine, ripping off a huge gain to get Denver into scoring range. Russell Wilson also broke loose for a big gain for 21 yards to get Denver inside the 5 yard line as the first quarter ended.

Second Quarter

The Jets defense ultimately held the Broncos to a field goal on that drive, but Denver was able to push their lead back to 5 early in that second quarter.

Broncos 10, Jets 5.

Denver’s defense had looked really good in the first quarter, but began to falter on the Jets first second quarter drive. The inside running lanes were opening gaping holes for Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook. The Jets quickly rushed themselves into a first goal at the Denver 10 yard line.

The Broncos defense stiffened once they let the Jets inside the 10-yard line, but Pat Surtain had perfect coverage on a third down pass into the end zone to force another field goal for the Jets.

Broncos 10, Jets 8.

With time running short in the first half, the Broncos offense got a jump start from, you guessed it, Jaleel McLaughlin who took an inside handoff through the hole for a 21-yard gain to give him 63 yards rushing on just four carries.

Add in another 23 yards receiving and McLaughlin had 14.3 yards per touch in the first half. A few plays later, the Broncos were setup with a first and goal opportunity. They would not be able to do much once down inside the 10-yard line and would kick a field goal with just under two minutes left in the half.

Broncos 13, Jets 8.

The Jets offense, led by Zach Wilson, was able to streak down the field in under two minutes to get into field goal range. With 15 seconds to go from the Broncos 13 yard line, he completed a short pass over the middle and did not get lined up to spike the ball for the field goal.

Third Quarter

After the Broncos opened the second half with a three and out, the Jets were given another chance to either close the gap or take the lead early in the second half. They needed only one play for Breece Hall to rip through a huge hole for a 72-yard touchdown to run to put the Jets back out in front for the first time since their opening drive.

Jets 15, Broncos 13.

Denver’s offense would come out and immediately go three and out in back-to-back drives to give the Jets the ball back with the lead. A huge third down conversion to a wide open tight end got the Jets down near the Broncos 20-yard line.

After converting their first two third downs of the game on their next drive, the Jets were faced with a third and goal from the five. Zach Wilson was sacked by Elijah Garcia to keep the score within reach for Denver.

Jets 18, Broncos 13.

The Broncos offense went three and out for the third straight time in the third quarter, but on the ensuing punt the Jets muffed it and Denver recovered to give the Broncos the ball just outside field goal range. Two plays later, a reverse was fumbled by Marvin Mims and the Jets recovered to negate the advantage for Denver.

The last time Denver gave up as many rushing yards as they have over the last three games was back in 2018. The head coach then? Vance Joseph. The defensive coordinator today? Vance Joseph.

Predictably, the Jets marched right down the field without needing to throw the ball much to setup a crushing score for Denver.

Fourth Quarter

The Broncos defense was able to hold inside the red zone to force yet another field goal for the Jets, but down by 8 points for an offense that put up -18 yards over their last five combined drives was not very confidence-boosting for those watching.

Jets 21, Broncos 13.

The Jets defense completely dominated the entire second half and they made it impossible for the Jets offense to lose this game. With that defensive dominance, the Jets were able to drive down the field for yet another field goal to make it a two score game midway through the fourth quarter.

Jets 24, Broncos 13.

Going down two scores seemed to wake the Broncos offense up. A huge third and long completion to Jerry Jeudy followed by a roughing the passer penalty lit a spark. A short pass to Samaje Perine turned into a huge gain after he broke a tackle down to the Jets’ five yard line.

Russell Wilson then hit Adam Trautman for a wide open touchdown and then Michael Burton plunged in from a yard out for the two-point conversion.

Jets 24, Broncos 21.

Denver’s defense had a chance to give the team a chance, but they haven’t been able to stop any teams between the 20s all season and that didn’t change on that late fourth quarter critical drive. On third and six, Zach Wilson found a wide open tight end for a huge 37 yards pass into field goal range.

On third down, Wilson tried to hit his wide receiver on the back shoulder but it tips off his hands and Pat Surtain makes an incredible catch with his legs for the interception to give Denver’s offense a chance with two minutes left in the game and one timeout.

From their own three yard line, Russell Wilson hit Brandon Johnson outside for a quick seven yards then found Courtland Sutton over the middle for a nice gain out past the 20 yard line right at the two minute warning.

After a brutal sack to setup a third and very long, Wilson fired a bullet over the middle to Jerry Jeudy for a first down out to the 41-yard line with just 41 seconds left in the game. Wilson would fumble on the next play and the Jets would scoop and score to end the game.

Jets 31, Broncos 21.


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