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Week 5 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 16, New York Jets 34


What you need to know

Denver Broncos

Adam Gotsis recovered a Jets fumble early in the 1st quarter, setting up the Broncos first touchdown from Keenum to Sutton. It was a bad afternoon for the Broncos offense despite the statistics. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas compiled the important part of their stats when the game was basically over.

New York Jets

Offensive explosion aside, the caution flag still waves for the Jets and fantasy. Robby Anderson finally performed as we hoped he could, but it was one game against a shaky secondary. Isaiah Crowell had a huge game, but that’s been hit or miss, and he still is splitting carries with Bilal Powell. Also, Quincy Enunwa was held without a catch, and we don’t expect that again. The Jets face an uninspiring Colts defense next week, but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. Until we see consistency, we will keep using – or not using – Jets players the same way we have all season.

Denver Broncos

QB Case Keenum, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 51 - 377 - 2 TD / 1 INT
Keenum attempted a season-high 51 passes as Denver fell behind early and tried to catch up. He struggled for the most part as Denver's O-line couldn't protect him from New York's pass rush. Keenum was sacked 4 times and fumbled on 2 of those occasions. Keenum capitalized on a New York turnover and found Cortland Sutton for a 1st quarter touchdown, taking a shotgun snap in the Jets red zone and buying time with his feet until Sutton worked his way open in the back corner of the end zone for a diving catch. Keenum and the 2-minute offense had 3 chances at the end zone from the Jets 10 yard line late in the 2nd quarter, but he overthrew Heuerman and Sutton in the end zone and also missed Lindsay on a dump off pass. Keenum drove the offense down inside the Jets 10 in the 4th, and did an amazing job avoiding a sack on 4th and 3, but unfortunately couldn't connect with Sanders in the end zone, turning the ball over on downs. Keenum found Demaryius Thomas down the right sideline for a late touchdown in the 4th quarter. Thomas split out wide right and beat single coverage down the field, plucking the pass from the air off balance and staggering into the end zone for the score. Keenum's interception was no fault of his own, as he hit an open Sutton right in the hands at the end of the 4th quarter. The receiver unfortunately let the ball bounce off his hands and into the arms of a waiting defender, resulting in a turnover in the end zone. Keenum continues to favor Emmanuel Sanders with 14 targets heading Sanders' way in week 5.

RB Phillip Lindsay, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 61 - 0, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (4 targets)
Freeman got the start, but Lindsay again wound up out-touching him 15-8. Both backs had strong runs, and Denver used split back sets featuring both rookies several times. Lindsay lined up in a two back set with Freeman for his first snap of the game on the Broncos opening drive, carrying the ball around right end for a 29 yard gain. Lindsay gathered 12 carries total to Freeman's 5. Freeman and Lindsay drew the same amount of targets, but it's worth noting that Freeman's targets were all check downs at the end of Keenum's reads, while Lindsay's seemed to be designed to get him the ball as a first option. Lindsay caught a shallow out route from the backfield late in the 3rd quarter. He also split out to the left WR position and caught a bubble screen, following his blockers for a nice pickup. Keenum hit him on a swing route from the Jets 10 yard line in the 4th quarter, but Lindsay was dragged down before he could find the end zone.

RB Royce Freeman, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 31 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (4 targets)
Freeman was the first back on the field for the Broncos, but was out-touched 15-8 by Lindsay. Both backs were featured in split backfields on several plays. Freeman's most impressive run was a 24 yard gain off right tackle in the 4th quarter. Though Freeman and Lindsay both drew 4 targets, Freeman's were all check downs at the end of Keenum's reads while Lindsay seemed to be one of the first options on passing plays that were designed to get the ball to him. Freeman caught a check down pass out of the backfield on Denver's first offensive snap of the game. Keenum checked it down to him again in the 3rd quarter for a short gain, and again in the 4th around the 11 minute mark.

RB Devontae Booker, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 59 - 0 (6 targets)
Booker saw his first snaps in the 2 minute offense at the end of the 1st half, and only played in passing situations. He caught a check down pass from Keenum for a short gain at the end of the 1st half. Keenum checked it down to him again at the end of the 4th quarter, one play before Demaryius Thomas' big touchdown catch. Booker caught a screen pass underneath the New York prevent defense with 2 minutes left in the game, weaving his way through defenders for a 22 yard gain. Keenum hit him with two more check down passes on the next two plays for moderate gains. Booker did not log any carries.

WR Emmanuel Sanders, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 72 - 0 (14 targets)
Sanders drew a team high 14 targets, considerably more than Thomas, Sutton, and Booker, who all tied for the second most with 6. Sanders did most of his work in the 4th quarter. He caught his first target halfway through the 1st quarter on a WR bubble screen, bouncing off a couple of tackles for a nice gain. Keenum hit him for a big gain on a skinny post early in the 4th quarter. Sanders hauled in a quick screen two plays later. Keenum hit him again with a bubble screen from the Jets 10 yard line, but Sanders was dropped at the line of scrimmage. Sanders was the target of a desperate Keenum heave on 4th and 3 from the Jets 5 late in the 4th quarter, but he couldn't secure the bad pass with a diving effort. Sanders racked up several more targets on the final drive of the game, hauling in a short slant pass early in the drive, then a skinny post inside the Jets 10 yard line near the end of the drive. Keenum hit him again on an out route following the skinny post, and Sanders took the ball down inside the 5 yard line, nearly finding paydirt. The drive was unfortunately ended when Sutton let a Keenum pass bounce off his hands to a defender.

WR Demaryius Thomas, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 105 - 1 (6 targets)
Thomas hauled in his first target with a strong catch on an out route late in the 2nd quarter that picked up a first down on 2nd and long. He followed it up with a beautiful reception on a corner route from a 3WR bunch formation on the next play, deftly securing an over-the shoulder pass between two defenders for a big gain. Thomas hauled in a short slant route at the end of the 1st half, and was overthrown on a deep ball on 3rd and long on the next play. Thomas hauled in a deep comeback route for a nice gain up the left sideline on Denver's first offensive drive of the 2nd half. Thomas saved his fantasy day with a big 42 yard touchdown catch, lining up wide right and beating single man coverage down the right sideline. He secured the pass with an off balance fingertip catch and managed to stumble into the end zone. Keenum targeted Thomas on the ensuing two-point attempt but couldn't hit the receiver on a crossing route in the end zone. Thomas was out-targeted by Sanders 14-6.

WR DaeSean Hamilton, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 44 - 0 (3 targets)
Hamilton was involved in the receiver rotation behind Sanders, Thomas, and Sutton throughout the contest. He got started in the 1st quarter, hauling in a skinny post from the left slot for a nice gain. Keenum found Hamilton on a crossing route later in the 2nd quarter for a nice gain that set the Broncos up inside the New York 10 yard line. Hamilton hauled in his final target for a short gain on an out route late in the 4th quarter.

WR Courtland Sutton, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 1 (6 targets)
Sutton caught an 8 yard touchdown in the first quarter. He lined up tight to the left side of the formation in a 3WR bunch set, working his way across the back of the end zone and securing an impressive diving catch in the right corner. Keenum looked for Sutton in the back of the end zone again near the end of the 2nd quarter, but the QB placed the ball to high for Sutton to bring down. Sutton had a nice catch and run up the right sideline in the 3rd quarter, but had the play called back for offensive pass interference. Keenum looked for Sutton again in the back corner of the end zone with 11 minutes left in the 4th, but threw the ball well out of bounds. Sutton caught another quick curl to convert 3rd and 4 late in the 4th quarter. Sutton had an unfortunate drop at the end of the game that resulted in a Keenum interception. The ball bounced off his open hands in the end zone, winding up right in the arms of a defender. Sutton did (sort of) redeem himself by running the defender down the entire length of the field to take him down at the 1 yard line and prevent a pick-six as time expired.

WR Tim Patrick, 6 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)
Patrick saw very limited snaps and 1 target, a shallow crossing route for a short gain late in the 1st quarter.

TE Jeff Heuerman, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (4 targets)
Heuerman only drew 4 targets as Case Keenum attempted a season-high 51 passes. He caught a short out route in the 1st quarter on his first target of the day. Heuerman was targeted in the end zone at near the end of the 2nd quarter, but Keenum threw the ball out of bounds. Heuerman caught a short out route late in the 4th quarter for a short gain. Heuerman secured a Keenum fumble at the end of the 1st half. Fellow tight end Matt LaCosse was equally ineffective in the passing game.

TE Matt LaCosse, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (2 targets)
LaCosse mixed into the tight end rotation with Heuerman. He caught a curl route for an 11 yard gain in the 4th quarter, then hauled in a short crossing route on the final drive of the game.


New York Jets

QB Sam Darnold, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 10 - 22 - 198 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 5 - 0
The Jets rookie quarterback had what was easily his best day against a Denver Broncos defense which struggled in the secondary and couldn’t get past an inspired line save for one sack and a total of three quarterback hits. Darnold also benefited from a great run game, which made sure the defense couldn’t afford to focus on just making Darnold a tackling dummy. Darnold’s yards per completion jumped up to 19.8, helped by three touchdown passes 20-yards or longer. The first was a 76-yard score by Robby Anderson, which Darnold dropped perfectly in front of the receiver, who didn’t have to break stride on his way to the end zone. The second was an absolute dime to Anderson again for a 35-yard score, which Darnold threw over a defender and in perfect placement for the well-covered receiver in the end zone. The final one, a 20-yard pass to Terrelle Pryor, was a little long but Pryor bailed Darnold out a bit with a dynamic one-handed grab. While Darnold’s completion percentage is still slumping, his overall ball placement and throws, especially once he got going, showed improvement, and while one game does not a career make, this was a step in the right direction.

RB Bilal Powell, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 99 - 0
With a franchise record day set by another member of the backfield, it’s easy to overlook Powell’s efforts, especially as his day began with a fumble on the Jets’ 19 yard line which led to a Broncos touchdown. Powell got back on the field though, and actually had more carries than Isaiah Crowell, along with a very respectable 5 yards per carry average. Powell showed some nice speed at times, and the ability to run hard to gain some extra yards.

RB Isaiah Crowell, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 219 - 1, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)
It was a record-setting day for Isaiah Crowell against the Denver Broncos, as the running back set not only a career best but a franchise best as well. Crowell, who credited his offensive line with the big day, averaged 14.6 yards per carry and benefitted from some massive holes. Not only was he good between the tackles, but Crowell showed speed and athleticism getting to the edge and turning upfield. It was on one of those plays that Crowell broke for his 77-yard touchdown run. On the play, Crowell bounced outside and then made a defender miss as he turned upfield. He cut inside, making another defender grab air, before turning on the afterburners and, with a key block, cruised for an “easy’ score. Not long after, Crowell was hit in the backfield by a Broncos defender, but kept his feet moving and slipped the tackle, gaining a first down with the second effort.

WR Robby Anderson, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 123 - 2 (5 targets)
After totaling 108 yards on 8 catches in the first four games, Anderson finally exploded for the Jets, literally in the case of his 76-yard touchdown in the second quarter. On that play he threw a hesitation move at the defender, then kicked in the jets to blow past him where quarterback Sam Darnold placed the ball perfectly in his hands so he could head to the end zone without breaking stride. His second touchdown came on a play when the coverage was actually really good. Anderson was running a corner route, but was blanketed. Darnold dropped a perfect pass into his hands in the end zone where only Anderson would get the pass.

WR Jermaine Kearse, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (4 targets)
Kearse got plenty of catches but he and quarterback Sam Darnold rarely seemed on the same page, with Kearse missing a few potential passes and Darnold missing him on another.

WR Terrelle Pryor, 13 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 20 - 1 (1 targets)
About the time when onlookers were wondering if Pryor’s frequent lapses during routes had landed him on the bench, he appeared on the field and made a ridiculous one-handed catch on a somewhat overthrown Sam Darnold pass. On the play, Pryor first looked to be running a post route, but then switched and cut into more of a corner route. Darnold’s throw was a bit too far, but Pryor jumped up and made a nice catch as he cruised into the end zone.

WR Andre Roberts, 2 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets)
Roberts is more of an impact player returning punts and kicks, but snagged one short pass in the third quarter. He was the intended target on Sam Darnold’s tipped interception as well.

WR Quincy Enunwa, 48 offensive snaps (5 targets)
It was a notable day just for what didn’t happen — quarterback Sam Darnold and Enunwa never connected. Enunwa did drop a pass and on one pass Darnold missed him, but the Broncos dedicated themselves to shutting this connection down and they were successful at that.

TE Eric Tomlinson, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (3 targets)
Mostly known for blocking, Tomlinson had a nice catch on a delayed route where he first blocked Von Miller, then went into the flat. He nearly dropped the ball, but was able to hold onto it and turn upfield for a nice gain. Tomlinson had a bigger impact in the run game as he filled in as a fullback on a few runs and sprung the running back loose.

TE Jordan Leggett, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)
Leggett made one catch on a short out route to the right of the formation, but was otherwise used as a blocker.