Offense – D-
At first, promise. Denver ran the ball, if not prolifically, then at least with moderate success early. Brett Rypien helped move the Broncos down the field twice. The home team controlled the clock and controlled the game in the first 30 minutes, though it trailed by a point at halftime. Once again, the offense went dormant in the second half. Sure, Denver was playing without Russell Wilson. But it had chances. Enough to come away with more than nine points. And again the group found ways not to make plays in critical moments. Denver rushed for 105 yards and lacked juice once Mike Boone was lost to an ankle injury. Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray combined for 57 yards on 19 carries. We’ll spare the F this week because of the Wilson injury, but this was a winnable game regardless.
Defense – B+
What else is new? Denver’s defense holds an opposing offense to a single touchdown and comes up on the losing end. Ejiro Evero’s group mostly dominated early, the only trouble is the two plays it gave up led directly to points: A 62-yard Breece Hall touchdown run and a 32-yard dump-off pass to Michael Tucker that set up the Jets for a field goal. Turns out, that’s all the Jets really needed. Tough to put any blame on the defense at this point. Every time a team gets points in any capacity, it feels like a major blow. Consider this: The Broncos’ defense has surrendered a grand total of seven touchdowns in the first seven games of the season, of which the Broncos have won only two.
Special Teams – C-
Brandon McManus missed an extra point to the right after Denver’s first touchdown of the day because of a poor hold by punter Corliss Waitman. He missed again from 56 yards before hitting from 44 in the first half. Those four points probably would have come in handy in the second half. Waitman had a heavy workload again, punting six times. The Broncos got very little going in the return game. On a windy day, both kickoff units opted to just drive the ball through the end zone. Seven kickoffs, seven touchbacks.
Coaching – D
Backup quarterback Brett Rypien ended up throwing the ball 46 times in a game that was never separated by more than one score. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett opted to play conservative in other ways, though, punting on fourth-and-1 three times in the second half while trailing. Those came from the Denver 48 early in the third quarter, the Denver 40 later in the third and the Denver 38 early in the fourth. Hackett also sent kicker Brandon McManus out for a 56-yard field goal in swirling winds, a kick which McManus pushed right. Didn’t mind Hackett challenging a strange sack/potential fumble call against Zach Wilson in the first half even though Denver lost it.