The New York Jets were always going to have their hands full with one of the top defenses in the league in the Denver Broncos. But the attack led by rookie Zach Wilson was held to nothing yet again in a 26-0 loss in the Mile High City on Sunday afternoon to drop to 0-3.
As a team, the Jets were outgained 345-162 by the Broncos while not recording a touchdown for a second-straight game.
For Wilson, it was another rough outing as this year’s No. 2 draft pick was limited to just 19 completions on 34 attempts for 160 yards and two interceptions.
He was also sacked five times despite the Broncos being without one of their top pass rushers in Bradley Chubb, who underwent ankle surgery during the week.
Early struggles once again put the Jets in an early hole.
While Wilson attempted just three passes with the Jets posting six total yards of offense in the first 17 minutes of the afternoon, the Broncos bolted out to a 10-0 lead.
Javonte Williams’ 1-yard rush put the Broncos up 7-0 to finish up an 11-play, 79-yard drive that ate up just over seven minutes of clock late in the first quarter.
After a quick Jets three-and-out, Denver tacked on a field goal just 10 seconds into the second.
The Jets found some offensive success midway through the second quarter when they drove to the Denver 38-yard-line — deep enough to attempt a field goal. On the try, however, a delay-of-game penalty pushed New York out of field-goal range to keep them off the board.
Wilson would end the first half with only 56 yards as the Broncos extended their lead to 17-0 after a Melvin Gordon one-yard touchdown with 56 seconds to go before the break.
Another field goal by Brandon McManus put the Broncos up 20 on their first drive of the second half as the Jets continued to move the ball against the host’s active and aggressive defense.
The Jets finally had a drive that didn’t end with a punt early in the fourth quarter as Wilson drove Gang Green down to the Broncos’ 25-yard-line. But a 4th-&-1 attempt saw his pass on a quick slant go right through the hands of Ty Johnson to turn it over on downs.
It directly led to a Broncos field goal, but the Jets defense provided a goal-line stand from the 1-yard-line to keep Williams out of the end zone for a second time Sunday.
Wilson himself wasn’t able to get through the game clean as the interception bug bit him again with five-and-a-half minutes to go in regulation. His pass inside Broncos territory on a hook route from Corey Davis was jumped by Justin Simmons and returned to the Jets’ 33-yard-line. It was the rookie’s sixth interception thrown this season.
The Broncos looked poised to extend their lead even further by quickly getting down to the Jets’ goal line, however, Williams was stripped by Quincy Williams to force a rare Jets takeaway that was returned to New York’s 37-yard-line to give Wilson something to work with.
The problem was that the Jets’ struggling offensive line resulted in Wilson running for his life, including a sack on a 4th-&-6 to turn it over on downs at the New York 29-yard-line.
Wilson wasn’t done either, and not in a good way. While playing out the clock, a high pass whizzed through the hands of Braxton Berrios with 30 seconds left for a second interception to end his day on an even worse note.