Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “New York is a sucked orange.” Tonight, the New York Jets were sucked up by a team normally dressed in orange.
The Denver Broncos defense landed the Jets to a second straight loss in a 17-13 victory. Call it ugly, call it disgusting at times, call it whatever you want, but the Broncos just took a big bite out of the Big Apple. The Jets’ core was exposed and the Broncos heart was as well. The nationally televised win puts the team in the position to be tied for first in the division (if the Raiders lose to the Vikings on Sunday).
Coming into the game, the Broncos were 5-9 all-time in games played on Thursday and 1-3 at home. The Broncos forgot all about that and pulled out a big one thanks to their defense, and the last minute heroics of Cardiac Kid, Tim Tebow.
“They gave us an opportunity, and they’ve done it before all the way back against Cincinnati at the beginning of the season,” John Fox said of his defense after the game.
The Jets came into the game averaging 23.9 points per game. The game took a turn faster than a New York minute when CB Andre Goodman had his first pick-six of his career. That tied the game up at ten a piece with 4:25 left in the third quarter.
“I got a good break and was able to get my hands on the ball, and keep my hands on the ball” Goodman said.
All game long, it was Denver’s defense that gave Tebow and the offense a chance in the end. Tebow may have ran the ball into the end zone from 20 yards out, giving the Broncos the 17-13 lead with 58 seconds remaining, but it was Von Miller’s game all the way. Miller ripped off his Clark Kent glasses, put on his Superman cape, and had a team-high 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks (including the one when the Jets were trying to turn on their after-burners on the last drive), and three tackles for a loss, along with one forced fumble and one pass deflection.
“He’s a great kid,” Fox said. “He really cares about the team winning. He’s a tremendous player and is just going to get better every week.”
Mark Sanchez had a 60.0% completion rate and passed for 252 yards, but his offense could not convert in the red zone. The lone touchdown that the Jets had was only because they fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line and then recovered it in the end zone.
“Watch the game, I let the defense down, however you want to phrase it,” Sanchez said. It’s just an embarrassing day for me.”
It’s going to be a long ride back to the east coast for the Jets, but for the Broncos, they will have a little time off before traveling to San Diego in more than a week.
Tebow actually threw the ball more than what many expected, going 9-of-20 for 104 yards. As per usual, his legs put in a lot of work as well. He carried the ball 8 times for 68 yards, and the team’s game winning touchdown.
“I think it was a bunch of guys that kept fighting that had been knocked down a bunch of times but continued to get back up,” Tebow said of the team’s last drive.
“I knew he was going to get us down there, a touchdown was a bonus,” Willis McGahee said of the last drive. “I am happy for him, I am happy for the offense because we have a lot of critics about us not passing the ball. I am just glad he got it in there.”
Tebow will continue to have his critics. He had passes sail over his receivers, into the stands, and drop into the ground.
“Tim is going to be Tim,” Fox said. “You don’t want to change too much about a guy that makes plays and makes plays in pressure situations. We had a couple issues, but he’s a young player. He’s a young quarterback. It’s a very hard position, and those things are going to happen. He’ll just grow and get better with every snap.”
Tebow has probably put more grey hairs on Fox’s head in the last five games, but offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has minimized a lot of the damage. McCoy brings a new game plan every game. Against the Jets, he came with Eric Decker throwing a pass, Eddie Royal on the end around, and Tebow not carrying the ball until mid-way through the second quarter.
Even the Jets had their doubts about Tebow coming into the game, but in the end, it was him who put on the after-burners and left the Jets in the dust.
“Tim Tebow did it,” Jets CB Darrelle Revis said. “He shocked me, he probably shocked a lot of people, but he did it. Tim Tebow’s legs took them to victory. He ran them to victory.”
Tebow ran the team to a win and Broncos fans have their minds running wild with playoff hopes and the potential for a better than .500 season.
Green Bay may be the cultural center for NFL football because of it’s long winning tradition, New York City may be the biggest media market in the country because of it’s size, but Denver, CO is the center of Bronco Mania because the team has won four of their last five.
Bronco Fever is at an all-time high and there’s no vaccine for it.