Denver 37, N.Y. Jets 28
When: 8:20 PM ET, Thursday, October 1, 2020
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Brandon McManus kicked the go-ahead 53-yard field goal, Brett Rypien passed for two touchdowns in his first NFL start and the Denver Broncos notched their first victory of the season by beating the New York Jets 37-28 on Thursday night at East Rutherford, N.J.
Rypien completed 19 of 31 passes for 242 yards and three interceptions while starting in place of Drew Lock (shoulder). Melvin Gordon rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns, Jerry Jeudy (two catches, 61 yards) and Tim Patrick (six catches, 113 yards) caught scoring passes and Bradley Chubb had 2.5 sacks for the Broncos (1-3).
Sam Darnold connected on 23 of 42 passes for 230 yards and also had a career-long 46-yard touchdown run as part of a career-high 84 rushing yards for the Jets (0-4). Darnold, who was sacked six times, briefly left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury after being slammed hard to the ground on a sack by Alexander Johnson before returning three minutes into the second stanza.
New York's Pierre Desir intercepted two passes, returning one for a score. Sam Ficken kicked a career-best five field goals for the Jets, who have lost their first four games for the second straight season under coach Adam Gase.
McManus, who made three field goals, delivered his 53-yarder to put Denver ahead by two with 3:08 remaining. New York's next possession ended when Chubb sacked Darnold on fourth-and-3 from midfield at the two-minute warning, and Gordon tacked on a 43-yard scoring run on the next play.
Denver led by one in the third quarter before Rypien capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive by hitting Patrick for a 7-yard score that gave the Broncos a 24-16 lead with 4:31 left in the quarter.
McManus and Ficken traded 54-yard field goals early in the final stanza before Desir picked off Rypien and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown with 10:45 left. The ensuing two-point conversion pass by Darnold was incomplete, but Denver's lead was down to 27-25.
Brian Poole picked off Rypien to give the Jets the ball at the Denver 44-yard line with 8:37 left. That set up Ficken for a 36-yard field goal that gave the Jets a 28-27 lead with 6:23 remaining.
Earlier, New York struck first on Darnold's dazzling 46-yard scoring run that included him escaping a sack attempt by Johnson and also avoiding a tackle attempt by Justin Simmons just behind the line of scrimmage.
The Broncos scored the next 10 points, taking a 10-7 lead when Rypien teamed with Jeudy on a 48-yard touchdown pass with 13:09 left in the half. Ficken's 26-yard field goal with 6:21 remaining knotted the score.
Denver took a 17-10 lead on Gordon's 1-yard plunge with 1:37 left. Ficken booted a 38-yard field goal with 15 seconds to go before the break.
At the end of the game, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio tried to hustle his players off the field without exchanging any postgame pleasantries with the Jets.
"There was just a couple of personal fouls there at the end and our sideline was getting (ticked) off about it and I just wanted to avoid having any confrontation at the end of the game and having it get ugly there," Fangio said. "So, I tried to get our guys to leave quickly just to avoid anything happening there. I thought it was the prudent thing to do."
--Field Level Media
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Team Stats Summary
N.Y. Jets will play their next game at home against Arizona. The Jets have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.
Denver will play their next game on the road against New England. The Broncos have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .333 after a loss.