Javonte Williams picked a good time to learn a lesson.
The Broncos rookie running back scored his first career touchdown in Sunday’s 26-0 win over the New York Jets and was close to adding a second. With Denver up three possessions in the final minutes of its third straight win to open the season, the Broncos called on their new 5-foot-10, 220-pound back on first and goal from the 1-yard line. Williams run to the right and suffered his first career fumble.
“The fumble was kind of like a downfall for me,” Williams admitted.
Williams finished with 29 yards on 12 carries with a long run of 14 yards. He scored the game’s opening touchdown, and the first of his career, from a yard out in the first quarter. He also caught three passes for 33 yards.
Melvin Gordon III carried the ball 18 times, picking up 61 yards and scoring a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He also had a 21-yard reception.
“We should have had two touchdowns each,” Gordon said. “That’s the expectation that we have. Today was not good enough, but it was good enough to get the win.”
With a little help from Teddy Bridgewater and reserve back Damarea Crockett, the Broncos finished with 121 yards on 37 carries. It was a slight bounce back after the Jaguars held the Broncos under 100 rushing yards last week. Coach Vic Fangio noted the Jets, like the Jaguars and Giants before them, continued to load the box and send extra rushers at Denver’s backs.
“Teams are blitzing our run game, which is why we’ve had success in the passing game,” Fangio said.
“They’re going to major extremes to play our run game, these first three opponents.”
Fangio added that watching both Williams and Gordon get denied at the goal line was “concerning” and “frustrating.” The Broncos will face another solid defense next week against Baltimore. Denver’s rookie running back will take one career touchdown and one valuable lesson into his fourth NFL game.
“I’m glad we was up by 23,” Williams said. “It’s just teaching me in key situations, you’ve got to locked in on the details. It’s something I’ve got to focus on.”