Broncos throttle Jets 26-0 for first 3-0 start since 2016

Sep 26, 2021, 4:18 AM | Updated: 6:28 pm
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) motion to his bench during the second half of an N...

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) motion to his bench during the second half of an NFL football game abasing the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER (AP) — Vic Fangio has a rejoinder ready for anyone downplaying Denver’s first 3-0 start in five years just because the Broncos’ opponents are a combined 0-9.

“They’re right,” the Broncos’ coach said after Denver’s 26-0 shutout of the New York Jets. “That’s a fact.”

Just like there’s no denying the Broncos are tied with Las Vegas atop the topsy-turvy AFC West, two games ahead of the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs.

A week after holding 2021 top draft pick Trevor Lawrence to 118 passing yards, Denver’s defense held the second overall pick, Zach Wilson, to 160 yards Sunday while sacking him five times, intercepting him twice and stopping him twice more on downs.

The Jets (0-3) became the third NFL team to lose a dozen consecutive games in September, joining the 1994-97 Saints and the 2007-10 Rams, who hold the record with 13 consecutive losses in the month.

“It’s frustrating,” Wilson said. “We’re all learning. We’re trying to get better every single week. It may be hard for people to see that, but we’re learning a lot from those games. People are gonna hate. It is what it is.”

The Broncos know just how Wilson’s feeling. They won just 32 of 80 games during the past five seasons, churning through coaches and quarterbacks at a dizzying pace.

Now, they’ve throttled the Giants, Jaguars and Jets by a combined 76-26.

Von Miller picked up his fourth sack and middle linebacker Alexander Johnson had a pair of sacks, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and a pass breakup for Denver, which also got sacks from Shelby Harris and Malik Reed.

A week after throwing four interceptions against the Patriots, Wilson was picked off by Justin Simmons in the waning minutes and also turned it over on downs at the Denver 25-yard line and at his 41. With 30 seconds left, rookie Cacen Sterns picked him off to seal the shutout.

Four of the sacks came in the first half when the Broncos built a 17-0 lead and limited the Jets to just 55 yards, 13 of which came on a run by Ty Johnson just before he and his teammates trudged through the tunnel.

“I think we’ve got a good team,” said Fangio, who brought an 0-7 September mark into the season. “We’ve been pretty damn solid for three weeks both offensively and defensively. Today, we had to work for everything offensively; they’re a good defense. They’ve got a lot of good players over there and made it hard for us. (But) we were able to get enough drives going, make enough plays to put some points on the board.”

And keep the Jets off the board on a sun-splashed day in front of the first capacity crowd at Empower Field at Mile High since 2019.

Three of the Broncos’ past four shutouts have come against the Jets.

With another opponent selling out to stop Denver’s ground game, Teddy Bridgewater was efficient once again. He completed 76% of his passes — 19 of 25 — for 235 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in his home debut. He connected with Tim Patrick five times for 98 yards.

The Broncos got 1-yard TD runs from Melvin Gordon III and rookie Javonte Williams, but Williams also fumbled at the 1 and had a mix-up on a handoff from Bridgewater on another play from the Jets 1.

“We should have had two touchdowns each,” Gordon said. “Today was not good enough, but it was good enough to get the win.”

The Jets had no such silver lining.

“We play hard but playing hard is not good enough sometimes,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said.

“Nobody expected it to be easy,” Jets D-lineman Sheldon Rankins said. “If it was easy, there would never be any bad teams. If it was easy, every team would be vying for a Super Bowl. Sometimes you have to stumble, sometimes you have to trip in order to start walking and running.”

Don’t the Broncos know that.

INJURY EPIDEMIC

Fangio had no update postgame on guards Dalton Risner (foot) and Graham Glasgow (left knee), who left in the second half, or speedy wide receiver K.J. Hamler (left knee).

The Broncos came into the game down four starters already.

FINES COMING

Risner was whistled for taunting the Jets after Gordon bulled his way into the end zone, and Jets cornerback Justin Hardee was flagged for taunting when he jawed at returner Diontae Spencer.

The NFL has emphasized taunting this season and had thrown 11 such flags coming into Sunday.

“Dalton, he swore to me he didn’t do anything,” Fangio said. “But you know I’ve harped on this with the players since training camp started that they were going to be calling this super closely, and they have been.”

OTHER INJURIES

Jets: WR Elijah Moore was evaluated for a head injury and TE Tyler Kroft (chest) went out in the second half.

Broncos: ILB Jonas Griffith (hamstring) was hurt in the second half.

UP NEXT

Jets: host the Titans (2-1) on Oct. 3.

Broncos: host the Ravens (2-1) on Oct. 3.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Tulane running back Tyjae Spears (22) cuts back between Houston defensive backs Abdul-Lateef Audu (...
Associated Press

Third-stringer Horton leads Tulane past Houston 27-24 in OT

HOUSTON (AP) — Third-string quarterback Kai Horton tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tayjae Spears in overtime to give Tulane a 27-24 victory over Houston on Friday night in an American Athletic Conference opener. Bubba Baxa kicked a 36-yard field goal for Houston (2-3, 0-1) in the opening possession of overtime. Horton forced overtime after […]
20 hours ago
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan throws during the first inning of the team's baseball gam...
Associated Press

Ryan, Twins send Tigers to 22nd shutout loss of season

DETROIT (AP) — Jake Ryan allowed five hits in six innings and the Minnesota Twins blanked Detroit 7-0 on Friday night, the Tigers’ 22nd shutout loss of the season. Detroit had its six-game winning streak snapped and surpassed the 1973 New York Yankees and 1976 Chicago White Sox, whose 21 times shut out were the […]
20 hours ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge pauses during the seventh inning of the team's baseball game against ...
Associated Press

Aaron Judge stays at 61 homers as Orioles beat Yankees 2-1

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge didn’t come close to hitting his 62nd home run, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks as the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 2-1 on Friday night. One game after tying the American League home run record that Yankees star Roger Maris set in 1961, […]
20 hours ago
Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley watches his solo home run during the second inning of the team's baseb...
Associated Press

Braves hit 3 HRs off deGrom, beat Mets, tie for NL East lead

ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Riley and Matt Olson hit back-to-back homers off Jacob deGrom in the second inning and Dansby Swanson later connected off the Mets ace as the Atlanta Braves beat New York 5-2 Friday night to move into a tie for the NL East lead. The defending World Series champion Braves soaked in […]
20 hours ago
Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. watches his two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox du...
Associated Press

Guerrero homers, wild-card Blue Jays rout Red Sox 9-0

TORONTO (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer homered, Alek Manoah pitched six innings and the playoff-bound Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 9-0 on Friday night. Raimel Tapia also connected for the Blue Jays, who clinched an AL wild-card berth Thursday when the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles. Toronto had […]
20 hours ago
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols follows through on a solo home run during the fourth inning of a...
Associated Press

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all. Pujols faced Oviedo for […]
20 hours ago
Broncos throttle Jets 26-0 for first 3-0 start since 2016