DENVER – After months of despair, happiness returned to the lives of Broncos fans.
Sure, Sunday’s 23-0 win over the Jets didn’t mean much because it couldn’t mean much. The Broncos still will miss the playoffs. The Broncos still must find a quarterback worthy of starting in the NFL.
But the win was impressive. And the win delivers hope to 2018, if not 2017.
Three reasons why the Broncos dominated the Jets:
One – A violent, snarling defense
The Jets came into the game averaging 22.2 points and 329 yards, middle of the road in the NFL. The Jets failed to score a point and finished with 100 total yards.
Let’s say that again: 100 total yards. Peyton Manning used to collect that many yards by the middle of the first quarter.
The Broncos pass rush was ferocious. The Broncos secondary, under deserved fire for recent struggles, was stifling. The defensive intensity was what you would expect for a team struggling for a playoff spot.
Two – A steady Trevor Siemian
For much of the season, Broncos quarterbacks have made it close to impossible for the team to win. They have done little right. They have immense wrong.
Siemian was not spectacular. He was steady.
He has seldom resembled an NFL starter this season, a shortcoming he shares with Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch.
He resembled an NFL starter against the Jets. He didn’t make a single dumb throw. He delivered a touchdown to Demaryius Thomas under severe pressure.
Instead of blocking the way to victory, Siemian was a vital piece of a convincing Broncos win.
Three – A loyal band of fans
I expected at least 10,000 empty seats on Sunday. Instead, there were only a little over 5,000.
Yes, Bronco fans moaned during an epic losing streak.
But fans refused to abandon their team. They came out on a gorgeous December day and were loud and supportive.