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Flying A Mile High: Jets Edge Broncos In Thriller

The New York Jets were flying a “Mile High” after their 31-21 win against the Denver Broncos. Gang Green came in needing a win to keep the season alive. The spotlight continued to shine on Zach Wilson and this New York offense, who started to show signs of life. 

After a bad opening drive that saw Wilson get sacked and the team go three and out, the Jets caught a break when Denver muffed the punt—setting New York up with great field position. Wilson found Lazard on the first play to set up a first-and-goal from the Denver nine-yard line. A penalty and a pair of incompletions forced a Greg Zuerlein field goal to give the Jets a 3-0 lead.

The defense took the field for the first time late in the first quarter and could not contain the Broncos' ground game. After forcing a third-and-8 right away, Russell Wilson was able to find a hole and scamper for a 16-yard gain and a first down. Jaleel McLaughlin then took over, breaking a run for 38 yards to put Denver in striking distance. McLaughlin burst through the Jet line two plays later on a 22-yard touchdown run, putting Denver in front 7-3 

After the offense failed to move the ball again, Thomas Morstead pinned Denver inside the five with a beautiful punt. On the very first play from scrimmage, the front seven put pressure on Wilson — forcing a bad throw resulting in an Intentional Grounding penalty in the endzone. Flags came flying in and, because the penalty happened in the endzone, it was a safety—awarding the Jets two points and the football trailing Denver 7-5 heading into the second Quarter.

Both teams traded field goals in the second quarter and, trailing 13-8, Zach Wilson and company took over with 1:47 remaining in the first half. Zach and the offense put together a solid drive, with completions to Michael Carter, Allen Lazard, and CJ Uzomah, but the drive stalled at the Denver 13 with the clock running out—forcing the Jets to go into half leaving points on the board.

The Broncos' offense failed to score in their first drive of the second half, opening the door for Wilson and the Jets' offense. It only took one play for Wilson to get the ball to Breece Hall for a 72-yard touchdown. Hall breezed past the Denver defensive line for his first touchdown of the year.

Denver, now trailing 15-13, attempted to take the lead. However, this effort proved unsuccessful — with Garrett Bolles getting called for offensive holding, setting back the Broncos 10 yards. They were unable to make any moves after this penalty before fumbling the ball and giving possession back to the Jets.

The Jets moved slowly toward the end zone, but thanks to strong rushes by Tyler Conklin and Garrett Wilson, they gained 44 yards. Wilson was sacked, but it didn’t stop Laken Tomlinson from recovering the ball and giving the Jets another chance to score. Greg Zuerlein kicked at the 27-yard line and it was good.

The Broncos' offense had another rough possession with Wilson having an incomplete pass and getting sacked by Jermaine Johnson. Denver punted the ball and recovered possession. At 3:50 in the third, Sauce Gardner was taken off the field for a knee injury. He returned later in the game. On second down, Samaje Perine fumbled the ball and the Jets had possession once again.

After another long drive, the Jets could not cash in and with a touchdown were left to settle for yet another Zuerlien field goal to extend their lead to 21-13. After the defense stood tall once again, the offense could not punch the ball into the endzone and had to settle for yet another field goal.

Now with a 24-13 lead with under 6 minutes remaining, the Jets defense needed a stop. On a third-and-11, they could not stop Wilson as he connected with Jerry Jeudy for 23 yards and drew a roughing the passer penalty as well. The Broncos not only got in the endzone, they converted the two-point conversion after the Jets' defense drew yet another flag.

The Gang Green offense now just had to run a four-minute offense to ice the game and come away with a big win. Wilson hit Tyler Conklin for a huge 3rd down conversion and New York was in business. Two plays later, however, Wilson would try to find Garrett Wilson on third-and-5 but Patrick Surtain II was able to intercept the ball giving Denver a huge opportunity to win the game.

The Jet defense that had been giving up big long drives all year needed to make a play to keep their season alive. With Denver starting to move down the field, Quincy Williams stepped up and sacked Wilson causing him to fumble. Bryce Hall then scooped up the ball and took it to the house for a game-winning touchdown.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Jets leave Denver 2-3 and have a date with the Eagles next week as they look to get back to .500 and continue their pursuit of a postseason berth. 

Final: Jets 31 Broncos 21

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