EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Broncos took an early 7-0 lead at MetLife Stadium but could not maintain momentum as the Jets used a 21-point second quarter to spur a 34-16 win. Denver fell to 2-3 on the 2018 season after the team lost for a third consecutive week.
The Broncos again took an early lead in a road game — and again the Broncos couldn’t sustain that success for the rest of the contest. Two plays — which came on consecutive New York drives — helped swing the game in the Jets’ favor. The first was a 77-yard Isaiah Crowell touchdown run that came after the Broncos failed to contain the Jets’ running back. After a Denver three and out, the Jets scored again quickly. This time, Sam Darnold found wide receiver Robbie Anderson, who burst past Bradley Roby for a 76-yard touchdown reception. Those two plays were just part of a 21-point second quarter and a 34-point afternoon, but they seemed to set the tone at MetLife Stadium. After the Anderson touchdown reception, the Broncos never got closer than four points the rest of the afternoon.
Head Coach Vance Joseph spoke at length this week about what the Broncos needed to do to prevent Crowell from breaking long runs. The Broncos just didn’t execute. Crowell ran the ball 15 times for 219 yards, the most the Broncos have allowed to a single player since 2010. Ninety-one of those yards came in the second quarter as Crowell broke a 77-yard run to open the Jets’ scoring. The Broncos’ defense entered Sunday’s game allowing the eighth fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL, but the unit wasn’t able to perform to that standard against the Jets. The Broncos allowed 323 total rushing yards, the highest total they’ve allowed since Oct. 24, 2010.
The Broncos’ first offensive highlight of the afternoon came with 9:19 to play in the first quarter after Adam Gotsis forced and recovered a fumble to give the team the ball with great field position. On second-and-goal from the 8-yard line, Case Keenum found Courtland Sutton, who raced into Keenum’s line of sight and made a leaping grab for his first career touchdown.
There were few bright spots during Sunday’s loss, but a couple of players managed to make an impact against the Jets. Derek Wolfe recorded his first career interception after snagging a tipped Darnold pass, and Chris Harris Jr. recorded a pair of pass breakups. Harris provided consistent coverage during the afternoon, and Wolfe also added a half sack. Demaryius Thomas, meanwhile, caught five passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.