The country’s largest newspapers are printing their headlines now. What will the eye-grabbing phrase for the Broncos-Jets game be? Timmy TD! Orange Sunday Plagued by Yellow! Mc-Genius Falls A Penalty Short!
In what was a very competitive game, the Jets beat the Broncos 24-20 on a warm Sunday afternoon at Invesco Field. In a game where the game ball was delivered via bicycle by Denver’s Mayor, the Broncos just couldn’t pedal their way to victory.
On fourth-and-6th from the Broncos 48-yard line with 1:26 remaining in the game, the Jets were saved by a pass interference call that put them on the 2-yard line. All LaDanian Tomlinson had to do was dance into the endzone on the first play to put the Jets up by four points.
After that it was all up to the Kyle Orton-led offense. Orton is a stud in the two-minute drill, but on this day he fumbled a botched snap at mid-field. The Jets recovered and took a knee for the win and a 5-1 record.
As Broncos fans, there isn’t much that we can complain about. Josh McDaniels called a great game on all three ends.
Defensively, the Broncos forced three turnovers including two interceptions by Mark Sanchez. Coming into today, Sanchez had not thrown an interception. Denver’s defense held the Jets to 7 points in the first half and pressured Sanchez all day long. Their zone defense was outstanding as was their ability to mix the 4-3 with the 3-4. This was an A+ effort for a squad that was missing three starters on defense and had to face the Jets’ #1 ranked rushing offense and a number of deep passing targets. LaDanian Tomlinson came into the game averaging 87 yards per game, but was held to 55 yards today.
Life for the Broncos offense was more complicated. The plan of attack appeared to be “diffusion of responsibility.” Five Broncos players had three or more carries and Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton were seen under center plenty of times. While Orton didn’t have 300+ yards passing, he did lead steady drives into the endzone. Orton finished the day going 14-34 for 209 yards and 1 TD.
The big story of the day was how much action Tim Tebow saw. “Tebow Time” was resurrected in the form of a rushing attack. The rookie had 6 carries for 23 yards and 1 rushing TD. While Josh McDaniels decided to save the large arm for another time, Tebow’s presence made an impact by getting the home crowd involved in the game and making the Jets’ defense question what was really going to happen. They had to respect the pass even though they knew it was going to be a rushing play up the middle.
Distribution to the wide receivers was even, but Jabar Gaffney led the team with 6 receptions for 81 yards.
The rushing game was much improved. There were four players who had a long of 13 or more yards. The average was bumped up to a respectable 3.9 yards per carry. Knowshon Moreno fumbled the very first time he touched the ball, but he didn’t stay in the “Peyton Hillis Memorial Doghouse” for very long. The second year player finished with 12 carries for 48 yards.
Special teams played an important role in the game today. Matt Prater nailed a beautiful field goal from Boulder (59 yards) to close out the first half. After the Broncos scored their first touchdown of the game, McDaniels elected to go for the onsides kick. It worked and any feel-good endorphins that the Jets had left were completely wiped away when Denver recovered the unsuspected kick.
Life looked good for the Broncos until that dreaded yellow flag came a-flyin’ with less than two minutes remaining. After a strong defensive stand, all the Broncos had to do was keep the Jets from advancing six yards. Instead the bubble burst, the air was let out of the tire, and the kite lost its string.
One play or penalty can demoralize a defense, a team, and a city. The orange tears are flowing on this “Orange Sunday.”
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