Offense — B
Why a “B” for an offense that was minus-3 in turnovers and averaged only 3.9 yards per rushing attempt? Because this is the Broncos offense we’re talking about and anytime they can not only reach 25 points but significantly exceed it, a high mark is warranted. The good: Receivers Jerry Jeudy (highlight reel 48-yard touchdown catch) and Tim Patrick (six catches for 113 yards, including a touchdown and plays of 31 and 40 yards), running back Melvin Gordon (who rushed for two touchdowns), and the maligned offensive line (which allowed no sacks). Quarterback Brett Rypien’s play was typical of a first start — up and down. He did good work on third down, but interceptions on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter let the Jets back in the game.
Defense — B
Quarterback Sam Darnold rushed for a 46-yard touchdown on the opening drive and it was the Jets’ longest offensive play and their only offensive touchdown. Welcome back, pass rush. The Broncos had four sacks in Weeks 1-3 and six on Thursday night. Welcome back, Bradley Chubb. A year-and-a-day from his ACL tear, he broke through with 2 1/2 sacks. The rush defense contained Frank Gore (13 carries-30 yards-2.3 average), allowing the pressure calls by coach Vic Fangio to consistently harass Darnold. The secondary gave up seven completions apiece to receivers Jamison Crowder and Jeff Smith, but no touchdowns. On the penultimate drive and leading by two points, the Broncos got a third-down pass break-up from cornerback De’Vante Bausby and a fourth-down sack from Chubb.
Special teams — A
Penalties by LeVante Bellamy and Joe Jones were first-half negatives, but it was a good bounce-back game for the Broncos’ special teams. Kicker Brandon McManus connected on field goals of 40, 54 and 53 yards and went 8-for-8 on kickoff touchbacks. Punt returner Diontae Spencer set up a touchdown with a 41-yard gain in the third quarter (second-longest of his career). Sam Martin had only one punt (38-yard net). The Broncos continue to work new players into the coverage/return units. On the opening kick coverage, they had five players who weren’t on their initial 53-man roster.
Coaching — A
This was one of coach Vic Fangio’s top games. As the defensive play-caller, he changed up his pass-rush plan and dialed up more pressures, particularly with inside linebackers Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell (combined 16 tackles and three sacks). Fangio inserted Bausby into the game and he responded with three pass break-ups. On offense, play-caller Pat Shurmur made several smart calls to get Rypien comfortable and into the flow of the game and found ways to gain yards minus tight end Noah Fant (ankle) and receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring).