Honestly, this was the last game of the season I was looking forward to as it represented an excellent match-up at home with the best chance for the Denver Broncos to win another game in 2023.
I respect the heck out of the Jets defense. They are a powerhouse. They were missing some players though and it meant we should have been able to find some kinks in the armor.
Nevertheless, the Broncos couldn’t score enough or keep the Zach Wilson-led New York Jets offense from scoring.
I was encouraged once again by how the offense looked early in the game. We had a good plan that was successful. But like every other game this season, the defense adjusted and it looked like we only did our own adjustment once it was the 4th quarter and we needed a miracle to win.
Payton keeps pointing out each week how teams are running two high coverages and it is limiting them. Sure…so why aren’t you scheming some things to take advantage of this? Either get more out of your run game (without trick plays that risk turnovers) or run some route patterns to make the safety have to make a bad decision.
I especially found the play calling inside the red zone to look atrocious in this game. The Jets’ front 7 is their strength. Why are we running it over and over again in a compressed area of the field? They have depth secondary players out there…challenge them with your veteran superstar QB with quick throws!
Russell Wilson once again had a very good day. He went off script early many times which ended up extending drives and helping the offense function. After the 1st quarter, that largely disappeared as the defense adjusted and kept some guys in zone underneath to be able to crash down on his runs.
The big negative I saw was his indecisiveness. This showed up largely on the safety play. He has to know the rush is coming. He has to get the ball out even if it is a throwaway. That safety was on him regardless of the poor play call (we shouldn’t be doing 5-7 step drops backed up like that against a good front).
The more I see of this offensive line, the less I like it. This could be a symptom of playing against one of the better fronts the team will see this season, but the problems seem fairly consistent. Penalties, bad pass blocking, and a complete inability to create holes on the interior for designed runs are causing the offense to bog down game after game.
Jaleel McLaughlin is the real deal at running back. His speed and quickness are huge weapons that defenses must account for from this Sean Payton offense. Also, he showed off his catch ability off a bad screen pass that he ended up taking to the house. I think the future for this player is going to be very bright as Payton starts designing more ways to get him the ball in space.
Samaje Perine didn’t want to be left out of the fun and hit an explosive screen play in the first half. He was a very efficient target in the passing game getting 4 catches for 73 yards.
Jerry Jeudy was another player in this game that was saving drives for the Broncos. When we needed a 3rd down conversion, he was the guy getting open. I’m not sure why that was the only time he saw targets.
For what it is worth, I’m not sure why the receivers overall didn’t get more targets. The game plan here seemed to be to throw short and inside all game long. The odd thing here is that the Jets were weak at secondary. Why aren’t we attacking that weakness?
This unit is pathetic. It is not coached well. They look like a bunch of players reading and reacting to what an offense is doing instead of enforcing their will in any way.
The sad part about that is that there are many players on the field who either lack the quick processing ability to play that way or don’t have the athleticism to be able to pull it off.
There’s just nothing like having a coordinator sticking a square peg in a round hole and expecting positive results.
Nik Bonitto is one of the few bright spots on this defense. He’s developing into a dangerous edge player who has yet to hit his ceiling. He got a sack early with a superb burst around the edge. He showed his ability to hustle as well on a well-covered play getting a sack chasing down Zach Wilson.
Zach Allen showed great burst for a big guy up front to get a sack on 3rd and long. Interior pass rush is such an important piece to having a successful defense. When teams focus too much attention on the edge rushers, these guys make you pay. He had a real impact in this game with a TFL, 2 quarterback hits, and a forced fumble to go along with the big sack.
Pat Surtain II made one of the most impressive interceptions I’ve seen in recent years to save a scoring drive late in the game. He showed excellent concentration in picking the ball out from the wide receiver’s hands with one hand. He’s one of the best players on this atrocious defense and a guy I’m always excited to watch on game day.
Kareem Jackson got caught flat-footed in the Jet’s first drive of the 2nd half. With the Jets blocking perfectly in front of him, he was the only guy who could stop a 50+ TD run by Bryce Hall. It was a bad look and cost us 7.
Marvin Mimms has got to get coached up on when to take a fair catch. He cost the team a huge turnover again on the first punt of the game right after a 3 and out by our defense. It doesn’t matter how much speed or ability you have to return if you can’t keep the ball secure.
This team just doesn’t understand how to compete and how to win. I mean that on both sides of the ball. Neither offense nor defense shows any aggressiveness in trying to win the football game. This is readily apparent in the trenches where we’ve brought in free agents and they still look lackluster for most of the game in doing the basics (I.E. running the ball or stopping the run).
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders how much of this season is just being a team reset for Sean Payton to clean house and get a new quarterback to start building around. It doesn’t seem like a half-bad idea from where things look right now. I hate saying that because I always want the Broncos to compete. But they just aren’t.
The funny thing is that there seems to be an argument to be made that they are competing. Look how close most of the games have been and how we lost right at the end of the game, after all. My problem with that argument is that the team wouldn’t need to come back if they’d just adjust as the game flows and keep their leads. For some reason, they just don’t seem to be able to match the level of their competition for most of the middle of each game.
I’ll keep watching, cheering, and analyzing for Broncos Country, but sadly I don’t see another winnable game on the schedule until something drastic changes. This team has a losing mentality and they show it with what they bring to the field on game day.