Three interceptions of opposing quarterback Brett Rypien and a lead late in the fourth quarter was not enough for the New York Jets, who fell 38-27 to the Denver Broncos.
The Jets are now 0-4 following another lackluster loss. Unlike the previous two weeks, this one wasn’t a blowout. It was theirs for the taking and the Jets blew it.
Four things learned from the Jets in Week 4:
Darnold shows something – A week (well technically, four days) removed from a three-interception performance at the Indianapolis Colts, Darnold bounced back with a certain amount of poise given the circumstances around him.
He started the game off strong, orchestrating a nine-play, 75-yard drive where the touchdown came off his own 46-yard run. And despite having to leave the game for several snaps due to a shoulder injury, he showed guts and leadership in returning and playing well.
Darnold wasn’t perfect – his decision making at the end of the first half in the red zone was poor – but he still led the Jets on three scoring drives in the first half while playing through a shoulder injury.
He was 23-of-42 for 232 yards despite being sacked six times and being hit 10 times.
Pierre Desir, the enigma – To bolster their relatively thin talent at cornerback, the Jets made an early move for cornerback Pierre Desir in free agency. In doing so, the Jets hedged their bets that last year was an outlier season for Desir, who struggled with the Indianapolis Colts to the point that he was cut despite having recently signed a multi-year deal.
On Thursday night, he showed his potential to be a solid starter—even spectacular at times—but also the occasional moments that drive the coaching staff mad. Two interceptions, including a pick-six in the fourth quarter, underscored his talent and ability.
With 11:05 left in the first half, Desir made a splendid interception, his first of the game, by dragging his feet to stay in bounds. It was an atoning moment from what had happened just moments earlier when he was posterized by rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who climbed over the top of the Jets cornerback and ripped the ball out of the cornerback’s hand for a 48-yard touchdown catch.
Desir hasn’t been terrible, just wildly inconsistent. He was beat by Tim Patrick on a 32-yard pass late in the first quarter as well.
Flag Day – The Jets were penalized an astounding 11 times for 115 yards. They came in all shapes and forms, including drive-killing penalties by the offense and drive sustaining penalties.
None was more egregious that Bradley McDougald’s unnecessary roughness for hitting Jeff Driskel when the Broncos quarterback was sliding after a designed run. Three plays later, Melvin Gordon’s touchdown dive from the goal line gave the Broncos a 17-10 lead.
This isn’t new for the Jets, who came into the game with 217 penalty yards, third-most in the league. But the penalties coupled with the big plays conceded played a major part in the Jets extending their winless start to the year.
Ficken is developing nicely – Last year, his first with the Jets, kicker Sam Ficken was a bit shaky. But all that seems to be a thing of the past.
This included a 54-yard field goal amid a downpour to cut into the Broncos lead, 27-19.
Ficken made all five field goal attempts on the night, showing solidly. And while he did miss one attempt, it was waved off due to penalty and Ficken made his next try.
The emergence of Ficken as solid plus rookie punter Braden Mann (48.7 yards per punt, a long of 53 yards) are bright spots in what is shaping up to be a very dark season for the Jets.