The Jets were dealt a swift dose of reality in the first half-hour in Denver
The New York Jets entered Denver on a Rocky Mountain High. Alas, they found out that they’d have to face not only the Denver Broncos but gridiron reality as well.
Much to learn the Jets still have, it appears, as the team struggled against their reeling hosts. Though they’ve been dealt some major blows by the football gods, hopes lingers on the visitor’s sidelines: despite four Braden Mann punts, two drives that ended with negative yardage, and 40 yards lost via penalties, things are still manageable for the Jets, who managed to escape the first half with a 10-9 lead after Denver missed both a field goal and an extra point.
- PASSING: Zach Wilson (8-14, 69 yards)
- RUSHING: Breece Hall (4 carries, 72 yards, 1 TD)
- RECEIVING: Michael Carter (1 rec., 37 yards)
- PASSING: Brett Rypien (8-of-18, 106 yards)
- RUSHING: Mike Boone (4 carries, 23 yards)
- RECEIVING: Jerry Jeudy (4 rec., 78 yards)
The Broncos, armed with a backup quarterback (that, admittedly, knows a thing about beating the Jets), have decided to play dangerously, targeting Sauce Gardner several times throughout the afternoon. It’s safe to say that his latest Pepsi Rookie of the Week belt will be well-earned, as Brett Rypien’s daring has yielded five tackes and two pass breakups. By this point, it’s clear that Gardner is packed to the brim with potential, but now that a team has dared to test him, it’s great to see he’s responding well to the opportunities.
Parts of the Jets’ first half have literally been painful: it was ridiculous enough that Breece Hall had only four carries before his medically-induced departure, but now the Jets have bigger problems, as he’s already been ruled out. Corey Davis (knee) and Alijah Vera-Tucker (elbow) are both questionable to return. We’re about to learn some big lessons about the Jets’ depth, and that might put some bigger pressure upon a certain thrower, because …
Where there’s a Wilson, there’s a way
Critics of Zach Wilson have claimed he has coasted upon the success of a strong defense and a potent rushing attack and even a solid blocking group. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a game manager, but, sooner or later, Wilson is/was going to have to a win game on his own. With the Jets’ injury report resembling a starting lineup and little, if any offensive traction in store before their final possession of the half, it’s time for a Zach attack, a whimsy Wilson takeover that guides the Jets to victory.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags