Broncos vs. Jets final: Brett Rypien overcomes wild first NFL start to land first win as Sam Darnold struggles

Denver Broncos v New York Jets
Elsa / Getty Images

Heading into their Week 4 matchup, neither the Denver Broncos nor the New York Jets were enjoying where their seasons were headed. The former has been ravaged with injuries that left them fielding a shell of the team they were optimistic about entering 2020, and the Jets were, well, still the Jets. The level of disappointment within Gang Green as both a team and an organization has head coach Adam Gase on the hottest possible seat -- possibly coaching for his very job tonight. 

And after losing 37-28 at home to the Broncos to fall to 0-4, there will be no ice water thrown his way this week. 

Things got off to a roaring start for the Jets when Sam Darnold did his best Lamar Jackson impression and juked defenders en route to a 46-yard touchdown run, but got immediately dark when he went to the locker room after being slammed to the turf on a sack. He would return to abbreviate the stay of Joe Flacco, but his protection is quite shaky as both Mekhi Becton and Chuma Edoga sat injured, and the Broncos capitalized. Rookie first-round pick Jerry Jeudy did his best Randy Moss impression to get the Broncos on the board first.

From there, Brett Rypien put on a show, until he didn't -- tossing three interceptions on the night and gifting Pierre Desir (who struggled mightily outside of those takeaways) and another to cornerback Brian Poole. One of Desir's interceptions added a touchdown to the scoreboard for the Jets, swinging momentum in a big way at the time. All in all, it was both a scrappy and a sloppy affair by two 0-3 teams, but one is winless no more.

Catch all the highlights and action from you might've missed in the live blog below, and check back shortly for key takeaways analysis from this primetime AFC battle. 

Why the Broncos won

In the battle of two bad teams, the one who made fewer mistakes is now 1-3.

It was a good showing by Rypien for much of the game, but the wheels fell off in the second half to the tune of three interceptions. The giveaways had to be overcome by great defensive play that could also be viewed as downright abysmal errors by the Jets, but potato potahto. The fact is the Broncos made the plays they needed to make when they most needed to make them, and that included a game-deciding sack by Bradley Chubb late in the fourth quarter followed by a walk-off touchdown by Melvin Gordon to seal New York's (and Adam Gase's?) fate in Week 4.

Why the Jets lost

Good grief, Charlie Brown. 

It wasn't that the Broncos played fantastic ball because they didn't. This game was lost by the Jets due to poor execution and effort on far too many plays, including the final touchdown at the hands of Gordon and in how the protection for Darnold simply didn't hold up in crunch time. Darnold did himself no favors either after blasting off for an impressive 46-yard rushing touchdown to start the game, later going on to stumble and essentially sack himself at one point while also taking a sack on fourth-and-3 -- at the hands of Chubb -- to give the ball back to the Broncos with great field position, and Gordon took care of the rest.

Turning Point 

In a back-and-forth contest, the final turning point came with just over two minutes left to play. Sure, Gordon was the one who finally grounded the Jets, but if not for this sack by Chubb, the Broncos might be the ones going home with an 0-4 start to the season.

Play of the Game 

There can be only one coronation here, and it belongs to rookie first-round pick Jerry Jeudy. Randy Moss will have something pleasant to say about this on Friday morning. 

No QB controversy in Denver

"The Brett Rypien Hall of Fame bust has been placed on hold." - Pro Football Talk

What's next

The Broncos will now face a more daunting task when they visit the New England Patriots, while the Jets sit tight at home to host the dangerous Arizona Cardinals.

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Season Leaders

passing
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R. Wilson1254 YD, 4 TDS, 3 INTS
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R. Wilson1254 YD, 4 TDS, 3 INTS
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J. Flacco901 YD, 5 TDS, 3 INTS
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J. Flacco901 YD, 5 TDS, 3 INTS
rushing
headshot-image
J. Williams47 ATT, 204 YD
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J. Williams47 ATT, 204 YD
headshot-image
B. Hall38 ATT, 178 YD, 1 TD
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B. Hall38 ATT, 178 YD, 1 TD
receiving
headshot-image
C. Sutton29 REC, 417 YD, 1 TD
headshot-image
C. Sutton29 REC, 417 YD, 1 TD
headshot-image
C. Davis15 REC, 261 YD, 2 TDS
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C. Davis15 REC, 261 YD, 2 TDS
Live updates
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I don't know how the Jets can go into their next game with the same coaching staff and same plan, but then again I don't really know how they came into the season with the same coaching staff and same plan, so who knows what'll happen.

October 2, 2020, 3:58 AM
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They shouldn't be shaking hands anyway. Social distancing!

October 2, 2020, 3:56 AM
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Boy was Vic Fangio hot after that one. Didn't shake hands with Adam Gase, told his players to get off the field. I can't wait for this press conference.

October 2, 2020, 3:55 AM
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https://twitter.com/NFLResearc...

October 2, 2020, 3:54 AM
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Good news for Denver:

https://twitter.com/AdamScheft...

October 2, 2020, 3:54 AM
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https://twitter.com/WillBrinso...

October 2, 2020, 3:52 AM
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The Jets gave up 37 points to a UDFA rookie making his first start ever, on a short week. Gross.

October 2, 2020, 3:50 AM
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You have to wonder when Adam Gase is going to win another game as a head coach.

Cardinals, at Chargers, Bills, at Chiefs, Patriots, at Dolphins, Bye, Dolphins. Will Gase be around by the Dolphins game?

October 2, 2020, 3:50 AM
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By the way, the game probably doesn't play out this way if the Jets don't kick that field goal on fourth-and-inches! Just go for it right there. Especially when you're 0-3, your team is bad, and the only stops you've gotten all night are when the QB threw the ball right to a DB.

October 2, 2020, 3:46 AM
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So the Broncos are going to improve to 1-3 and the Jets will drop to 0-4. Adam Gase hot seat watch is officially on.

October 2, 2020, 3:44 AM
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That Gordon TD was basically a heartbreaker for fantasy owners. Denver was basically running out the clock and now Gordon has a big night.

October 2, 2020, 3:42 AM
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Terrific job by Rypien hustling downfield to throw that block for Gordon. And if the Broncos can make the extra point this game is essentially over. Terrible job of contain by this Jets defense. Wow.

October 2, 2020, 3:40 AM
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Darnold threw to Crowder a ton last year as well. Adam Gase's offense tends to feed the slot man and Darnold seems like a low aDOT quarterback, but he also clearly trusts Crowder, who is clearly the best wideout on the team.

October 2, 2020, 3:36 AM
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Jamison Crowder has played just two games this year.

Has 7+ catches and 100+ yards in both of them

October 2, 2020, 3:35 AM
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Might want to go to a PA college to be a NFL kicker. Sam Ficken (Penn State) and Brandon McManus (Temple) are putting on a kicking clinic tonight. Ficken from 54 and that 53-yard kick from McManus gave Denver the lead.

October 2, 2020, 3:32 AM
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That sure looked like intentional grounding on Rypien, and now the Broncos will have to try a 50-plus-yard field goal to take the lead back. Not good.

October 2, 2020, 3:30 AM
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Now that's a really nice throw from Rypien right there. Looked Marcus Maye off to the inside and hit Tim Patrick in the hole between the corner and the safety. Perfect Cover-2 beater.

October 2, 2020, 3:28 AM
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DaeSean Hamilton has to at least try to catch that ball. He didn't even put his arms out to try for it.

October 2, 2020, 3:27 AM
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Quinnen Williams did a great job getting to Rypien and he ruins it with a VERY obvious facemask. Man. This defense is SO undisciplined.

October 2, 2020, 3:26 AM
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Such a conservative move by Adam Gase. I get the Jets haven't led this year, but they must be insanely confident the Broncos will not score the rest of the night.

October 2, 2020, 3:25 AM
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Uh-oh, what's this flag?

October 2, 2020, 3:25 AM
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@Broncos via Twitter
October 2, 2020, 3:22 AM
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