Broncos v. Jets Report Card

The Denver Broncos went from the bottom of the class last week to the top after their big win against the New York Jets. Check out the grades.

PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Jay Cutler was so good in bad conditions, even a horrible decision on a third-quarter interception into the end zone can't change the grade. Cutler was sharp, spreading the ball around to seven receivers in steady rain. When the Jets doubled the receivers, he hit the tight ends repeatedly. When he had chances, he hit Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley for long touchdowns. He finished with 357 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- Against the third-ranked rushing defense in the NFL, Broncos TB Peyton Hillis had 129 yards. The Broncos didn't mind running up the middle, where Jets DT Kris Jenkins has stopped so many other foes. Hillis made decisive cuts and showed a good burst for a player who spent his college career and the first half of his NFL rookie season at fullback.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- The Broncos flustered Brett Favre, who unlike Cutler, appeared affected by bad conditions. Denver got an interception and a couple of sacks. Most of what the Broncos gave up was underneath or on screen passes, not allowing any big plays.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- Thomas Jones had 138 yards against the Broncos. He busted touchdowns of 59 and 29 yards, but other than that, Denver had a decent day against New York's power rushing game. And what can't be forgotten is the Broncos are still down five defensive starters because of injuries.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The Broncos allowed Leon Washington some good returns, but none that turned the game in the Jets' favor. Matt Prater showed signs of getting back in the groove, hitting both of his field goals. Denver didn't have any big special teams plays, but avoiding any mistakes was also a key.

COACHING: A -- There's no way to explain the Broncos losing by three touchdowns at home to Oakland, when the games before and after that they beat winning teams on the road (the Falcons and Jets). But Denver's coaches were able to get the team to refocus quickly after a bad loss. The coaching staff also deserves credit for knowing Cutler could function well in bad conditions and not changing the game plan at all because of the rain. The Broncos played well the entire game and came out with an impressive victory.



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