The Denver Broncos have improved to 4-1 with a 31-17 victory over the New York Jets, who fall to 1-5. This was an up-and-down game for the Broncos, which saw them total 11 penalties for 101 yards, despite season highs in rushing and sacks.
Peyton Manning looked highly inconsistent once more at MetLife Stadium. Although he did not turn the ball over and had a passer rating of 117.9, he led 6 drives of 4 or less plays before punts. WR Demaryius Thomas had 10 catches (on 12 targets) for 124 yards and a score. TE Julius Thomas continued his strong performance in a contract year, with 4 catches for 51 yards and 2 TDs, bringing Manning to a career number of 505.
Ronnie Hillman notched an even 100 yards on 24 carries in his first career start, with backup undrafted rookie Juwan Thompson spelling him to the tune of 8-38. Hillman also caught 3 balls for an additional 16 yards, but did have a fumble, recovered by Andre Caldwell.
Defensively, the Broncos turned in a great effort. Geno Smith was the Jets’ leading rusher, with a total of 31 yards from the team. Rookie TE Jace Amaro had an impressive game, with 10 catches for 68 yards and a TD. Ex-Bronco Eric Decker also performed well against his former team, with 6 catches for 54 yards. The Broncos’ pass rush was able to get to Geno Smith 4 times, led by Von Miller’s 2 sacks.
The game seemed close at times in the second half. An Eric Decker score with 7:56 to go cut the Denver lead to 24-17, but Aqib Talib’s 22-yard pick six sealed the deal with 0:15 on the clock.
Injuries were a recurring theme for the Broncos in this game. Danny Trevathan left the game injured on the second defensive snap and did not return. Von Miller and Aqib Talib both went to the locker room at times, for concussion protocol and dehydration, respectively. Both returned to the game.
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