The Good and the Bad in the Denver Broncos Win Over the New York Jets


The Denver Broncos won a road game by 14 points versus a desperate New York Jets team, and in the NFL any road win is a good one.

The Broncos were not perfect on Sunday but they also did a lot of good things. They are now 4-1 and coming home for two huge games versus the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers. Here’s a look at the good and the bad.

What I liked:

Ronnie Hillman: There’s no way around it, he was terrific on Sunday. He had multiple runs of 10 yards or more and looked decisive in his cuts. Hillman has to keep performing but he’s earned the right to keep playing.

The Running game: For the first time in 2014, the Broncos were effective running the football. If that can continue, then the Broncos are a better offense. In addition to Hillman, Juwan Thompson ran well and the offensive line finally opened up some holes.

The defense: Yes they gave up 10 second half points but only after the offense left them in some bad field position. When the Jets had to go the length of the field, they had no shot. Aqib Talib also put the game away with an interception return for a touchdown.

Derek Wolfe: The defensive end played his best game of the season. He was active versus the run and had two pass deflections that ended drives for the Jets.

Demaryius Thomas: He turned in his second straight great game with more than 100 yards, and a touchdown. Whatever the issue was through three weeks, Thomas appears to be back.

The run defense: We touched on the defense as a whole but the Broncos were terrific versus the run. The Jets want to run the ball and came into the game ranked near the top of the league in that stat, and they could not do anything versus the Broncos.

What I didn’t like:

The inconsistency on offense: They got off to a slow start and then struggled through much of the second half. They were hurt by penalties and mistakes all day. If they had been able to put one more scoring drive together in the second half, then the Jets never get back into the game.

The penalties: This one goes without saying. The Broncos are good enough to overcome penalties versus the Jets but they cannot beat better teams with the number of penalties they had on Sunday.

Special teams: The kickoff coverage was terrible, giving the Jets some decent field position on a couple of occasions. Andre Caldwell also made a huge mistake bringing a Jets kickoff out from nine yards deep in the end zone, and only made it to the five. There’s nothing wrong with giving the ball to Peyton Manning at the 20 yard line.

Early pass protection: The Broncos got off to a shaky start in large part because the offensive line could not protect Manning. They got it corrected in the second quarter but that kind of slow start will cost them versus better teams.

The Broncos are 4-1 and outside of the second half versus the Arizona Cardinals, they have not played their best football. They made progress in the running game and the defense turned in another solid effort.

Manning said it best a couple of weeks ago, “Never take winning for granted.”