Final: 24-20, Jets
The Jets were somewhat fortunate to have escaped with this win. And, had it not been for Renaldo Hill's pass interference on Santonio Holmes on a deep heave on fourth-and-6 with 1:26 left, the Jets most likely would've lost. They were outgained by the Broncos, 346-319, and had three turnovers (including Mark Sanchez's first two interceptions of the season), but were able to overcome it thanks to two late touchdowns from LaDainian Tomlinson (16 carries, 55 yards). Sanchez was 17-for-30 with 198 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown to Braylon Edwards in the second quarter. Dustin Keller was the team's leading receiver with three catches for 75 yards. With the win, the Jets improved to 5-1. The Patriots and Dolphins both won their games, 23-20, in overtime, so the Jets' lead in the AFC East remains one game. They'll enter their bye week tied with the Steelers for best record in the NFL.
Kyle Orton, who entered having had four straight games with over 300 passing yards, was held to 14-for-34 for 209 yards and a touchdown. Jabar Gaffney led them with six catches for 81 yards. Brandon Lloyd, who was the NFL's leader in receiving yards, had four catches for 74 yards. The Broncos did total 145 rushing yards on 37 rushes from eight ball-carriers. Tim Tebow ran six times for 23 yards and scored his first career touchdown in the second quarter. Knowshon Moreno led Denver with 48 yards on 12 carries.
Revis started and made an immediate impact, recovering a Knowshon Moreno fumble at the Jets' 17. On a 2-and-5 on Denver's first possession, Moreno broke through up the middle for 14 yards but had the ball stripped away by Drew Coleman. Nothing came of it, though, as the Jets offense followed with a 3 & out.
The Broncos blew an opportunity to get on the board at 6:40 when the snap was fumbled on what would've been a 28-yard field goal attempt. The Broncos, who started at the Jets' 33, had reached the 7 on Kyle Orton's 6-yard pass to Jabar Gaffney over the middle. It's been an active start to the first quarter, but no score yet.
The Jets get on the board with Mark Sanchez's 32-yard touchdown to Braylon Edwards at 14:54. Edwards beat Champ Bailey on a skinny post, got inside position, and Sanchez put the ball between his numbers inside the 5. Edwards pulled away from Bailey for the last couple yards and the cornerback got shaken up on the play. While attempting to tackle Edwards, he went down on his right side and his ribs landed on Edwards' heel. After being down for a couple minutes, he was able to walk off the field on his own. The touchdown capped a 13-play, 77-yard drive. 7-0, Jets
The Broncos tie it up on Tim Tebow's first NFL touchdown. The quarterback, who subbed in for Kyle Orton in Denver's version of the Wildcat, took the shotgun snap and scrambled off right tackle untouched for a 5-yard score at 11:11. It was his second run on the drive. On a first-and-10 at the Jets' 34, Tebow made his first appearance from a split backs formation. He took the snap, rolled left and looked as if he wanted to pitch the ball back for an option, but held it and ran for two yards before Bryan Thomas rode him down. Denver's drive went 80 yards, the big play being Orton's 27-yard completion to Gaffney along the left sideline. The receiver beat Darrelle Revis to get the Broncos to the Jets' 5, setting up Tebow's touchdown. 7-7
After tying the score, the Broncos went for the onside kick and recovered it at the 45. Matt Prater kicked one that bounced and had good hang time, allowing Nate Jones to run under it and make the recovery.
The Broncos took the lead on Prater's 59-yard field goal as the clock expired. It was the second longest field goal in Broncos history, behind Jason Elam's 63-yarder in 1998. Denver's drive was set up by Mark Sanchez's second interception. With 48 seconds left in the half, he was picked off by Syd'Quan Thompson at the Broncos' 17 on a pass intended for Dustin Keller near the right sideline. The interception preceded the Broncos' drive that reached the the Jets' 41 and got Prater in range for the long boot. 10-7, Broncos
Sanchez was also intercepted by outside linebacker Jason Hunter on a sling to the left intended for Jerricho Cotchery. It was inevitable. After going his first 147 attempts without a pick, Sanchez was almost due to throw an interception. He also threw a couple balls in the first quarter that could've been picked off but were dropped. One to Champ Bailey, on a jumped post route, would've likely been taken back for a touchdown had the cornerback held on.
* Despite the Broncos' struggles on defense, they've kept the Jets in check for the most part. They've held the Jets to 48 rushing yards and Tomlinson has 22 yards on 10 attempts. Sanchez is 10-for-16 with 106 yards and a touchdown, but he has thrown two interceptions. The second was costly. On the flip side, Kyle Orton is just 6-for-18 with 99 yards and Brandon Lloyd doesn't yet have a reception.
Lloyd made his first catch on a 6-yard curl at 11:44. The catch came on a third-and-3 from the Jets' 42 to pick up the first down. Lloyd, the NFL leader in receiving yards, has been thrown to five times thus far.
The Broncos' drive reached the Jets' 27 (on Laurence Maroney's nine-yard run), but Prater missed a 49-yard field goal attempt at 9:43. He'd made one from 59 yards out to end the first half.
The Jets tie it at 6:47 on Nick Folk's 56-yard field goal. Prater's missed 49-yard attempt set the Jets up with good field position and they moved it 23 yards on six plays to set up Folk, who topped his previous career-best distance of 53 yards and set a franchise record. The previous record was 55 yards, held by three kickers, including Jay Feely. The kick was a no-doubter, a little left of the direct center of the uprights, and it had plenty of distance. For as much as Folk struggled last year and as many questions as he came to New York with, he's 13-for-14 on field goals and has hit 2 of 3 from over 50 yards. 10-10
The Broncos retake the lead with 1:30 left in the quarter. Orton hit Demaryius Thomas in the end zone on a back-shoulder fade for 17 yards. The receiver beat Revis on the play to cap a drive that went 66 yards on five plays and took just a minute, 36 seconds. The big yardage came two plays before the score, when Orton hit Brandon Lloyd for a 29-yard completion along the right sideline on a go route and the Broncos were awarded an extra 15 yards when Jim Leonhard was flagged for unnecessary roughness. As Lloyd made the catch and was drifting out of bounds, the safety popped him. The hit appeared to be legal (he led with the shoulder and there was no contact with the helmet), but Leonhard was penalized. The Jets challenged the catch, but replays showed Lloyd got both feet in bounds and the ruling was upheld. 17-10, Broncos
The Jets were responding to Denver's touchdown with a nice drive, but Santonio Holmes fumbled at the Broncos' 19 after a 16-yard run on an end-around. The ball was recovered at the 19 by Renaldo Hill. Dustin Keller had gotten them into Denver territory with a 41-yard catch-and-run.
Tomlinson got the equalizer with a 20-yard touchdown run with 8:36 remaining. Tomlinson, on a stretch play off left guard, burst through the line full-speed and accelerated to the end zone. Thanks to great blocking outside, he wasn't touched until just before grossing the goal line. That's Tomlinson's 21st touchdown in 19 games against the Broncos. The running backs had been contained for most of the game, but the Jets now have 124 yards on the ground - 92 from the running backs and a game-high 49 from Tomlinson on 13 rushes. The drive went 54 yards, the big play being a 22-yard pass to Santonio Holmes that got the Jets to Denver's 32. 17-17
The Broncos retake the lead on Prater's 48-yard field goal with 3:55 left. The drive went 50 yards on nine plays. The big plays were Orton's 19-yard completion to Lloyd, a 14-yard run by Moreno, and Orton's 13-yard scramble and dive on a third-and-11 that got them to the Jets' 35. 20-17, Broncos
The Jets go ahead with 1:16 left on Tomlinson's 2-yard plunge. The touchdown was preceded by a pass inteference call on the Broncos. On a fourth-and-6 from the 48, Sanchez heaved one to Holmes on a stutter-n-go inside the 5. The ball fell incomplete, but Renaldo Hill was flagged for pass interference. Holmes had gotten position and the safety reached over Holmes' back and inadvertently tugged his facemask just as ball arrived. With the penalty, the ball was placed at the 2. It was a daring throw by Sanchez, considering the Jets needed just six yards to continue the drive. 24-20, Jets
For the second straight game, Dwight Lowery seals the win with a turnover. The Broncos had reached the Jets' 44, but a Walton's shotgun snap to Orton was wide left by several feet and the skipped away from Orton. The quarterback had a chance to fall on the ball, but tried to pick it up and couldn't. Lowery then dove in to make the game-saving recovery near Orton's feet. With a Sanchez kneel down, the Jets end it and escape with a 24-20 win.