EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. • Logician Vance Joseph claimed last week the Broncos were built for winning on the road.
In Sunday’s game, the Broncos again looked more like they are built for being roadkill.
The Jets finished the game with 521 yards of offense.
The Jets also finished the game with a 104-yard interception that should have given – given! – them a 40-16 nosh-up, shutdown conquest of the Broncos.
But free safety Marcus Maye ran completely out of Jet fuel on the one-yard line for the longest interception return in league history that didn’t result in a touchdown.
The Broncos were a disgrace disguised as an NFL representative in MetLifeless Stadium.
This was even worse than the last two losses because the Jets are second- or third-rate.
“A lot of good teams are losing,” Joseph said.
A lot of bad teams, such as the Broncos, are losing, too.
It’s early, the coach said. However, it’s getting later earlier.
“We are at the crossroads,” Von Miller said. “I haven’t done nothing the past two games.”
The fork has respectability in one direction and a highway to hell in the other.
In the Joseph regime, the Broncos are 1-9 in locales from New Jersey to Los Angeles, Oakland to Buffalo, Miami to Philadelphia.
Case Keenum said the Broncos “are getting better.”
Vance and Case were just wrong about the Broncos.
Rookies Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman did procure 92 yards on 17 rushing plays before the coaching staff ultimately quit calling runs.
In the fourth quarter, with the Jets up 27-10 to begin with, the Broncos “ran” 25 plays. Not actually. They threw 23 times. Now, Vance blamed the Jets defense because “when they load the box,” the Broncos must pass.
The Jets did generally line up with eight defenders at or near the line of scrimmage, daring Keenum to beat them. Keenum did complete 35 of 51 for 377 yards to set career records, but those are empty statistics, reminiscent of Kyle Orton.
Of the total, 191 yards were accomplished in rubbish phase.
The case against Case is that he has five touchdowns and seven interceptions in five games.
Murmurs and mutters are transforming into barks and bellows for changes at the positions of quarterback and head coach.
The Rams are next. The Broncos must win or must walk. They could be out of the division before November.
Frankly, if the Broncos could take back a few plays from Sunday’s game, they might have been in it. About 12-15 plays.
Like that 77-yard run on the Jets’ first play in the second quarter by Isaiah Crowell to tie the game at 7. Crowell seared the Broncos for 219 yards (14.6-yard average).
His rushing was nearly as spectacular as the 278 record yards accumulated by Corey Dillon vs. Denver 18 years ago. Yet, Crowell shared the ball with Bilal Powell, who had 99 yards himself.
Like that 76-yard pass link between Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson three minutes later to put the Jetsetter up for the rest of the afternoon.
Like that 51-yard return by Andre Roberts on a punt from the new guy Colby Wadman, who was not Kobe Beef with a 32.3 net.
And like that final play on the Jets’ three-yard line when Keenum threw to Courtland Sutton, and the ball ricocheted to Maye in the end zone.
He ran through, around and over everybody on the Broncos, who was sort of brought down by Sutton, and primarily by himself, one yard short of the goal. Fitting finish to a failure.
“I’m upset,” Derek Wolfe said.
“The investment is too big. You invest so much into your body to make sure you’re healthy for the game just to come out and lose.”
Why? “I don’t know. I really don’t know,” he said.
Bradley Roby, who was an extraordinary nickel back, has been ordinary as a starting outside cornerback. He was burned for two touchdowns. “It is what it is,” he said repeatedly. It wasn’t what it was supposed to be. Asked if he needs coverage help, Roby replied: “I can’t comment on that.”
The Broncos probably should have kept their mouths shut after continuing to be pavement pizza.