DENVER, CO — The Denver Broncos dropped to 1-4 on Sunday after losing at home to the New York Jets. Sunday’s game was a tale of two halves for the heated storyline between both teams.

Denver Broncos falter in second half vs. Jets

The Denver Broncos got off to a hot start in Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. Fueled by a strong defensive effort to start, the Broncos’ offense capitalized off of the momentum created as they marched downfield on another opening drive scoring possession.

Undrafted rookie free agent running back Jaleel McLaughlin helped spring the Broncos to a 7-3 lead after he caught a pass from Russell Wilson out of the backfield and scampered in from 22 yards out. Prior to that play, McLaughlin ripped off a 38-yard run down the right sideline.

After one-quarter of play, the Broncos offense had 132 total yards of offense with the potential to break things open. Wilson escaped pressure early against the Jets pass rush, running for 49 yards in the first quarter alone.

Outside linebacker Nik Bonitto came up big early on with two sacks in the first quarter on Jets quarterback Zach Wilson. Defensive end Zach Allen came free on another play.

After the first quarter, everything went downhill. The Broncos went into halftime with a 13-8 lead and 183 total yards of offense.

Jets running back Breece Hall opened up the second half with a 72-yard touchdown run down the right sideline, breaking away from Denver’s defense. That was the first snowball.

“The first half of the game, I felt like we defended the run well,” Sean Payton said after the game. “Then in the second half, some of the motions, some of the gap adjustments we’re making—we get caught out of the gap on the long touchdown run—I never felt like in the second half we defended the run the same way we did in the first half. So that was troubling. We put our defense in tough positions with the turnovers. Right off the start of the game, we get a three-and-out, we fumble the punt, and we force a field goal. That was good, relative to how we responded defensively. But when you look at the fumble exchange on the reverse, the fumble late in the game, the fumbled punt—it’s hard to win games like that. The concern defensively, obviously, was the second half and the way they ran the ball compared to the first half.”

Denver went three and out on three straight possessions in the 2nd half and had a critical fumble on a double reverse handoff that led to them falling behind 21-13 in the fourth quarter.

After going into halftime with 183 yards at halftime, the Broncos were stuck at 185 total yards of offense at one point in the fourth quarter.

Despite an attempt to come back while trailing 24-21, Russell Wilson was sacked off the right side and lost the ball, which was scooped up by Jets cornerback Bryce Hall, who ran it in for a touchdown.

That would cap off another disappointing afternoon for a Broncos team that now falls to 1-4 on the season.

Broncos Bits

  • The Broncos offense only accumulated 125 total yards of offense in the second half, with a large portion of those yards coming late in the fourth quarter.
  • Denver’s defense allowed 407 yards of offense to the New York Jets, allowed 234 rushing yards.
  • The Broncos lost the time of possession battle to the Jets 34:36 to 25:24.
  • Broncos defensive tackle D.J. Jones left the game in the 2nd quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
  • Patrick Surtain came away with his first interception of the season against a back-shoulder throw from Zach Wilson while covering Garrett Wilson.
  • Denver’s offense had three turnovers on Sunday.