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Broncos up-down drill: Highs and lows for Denver against the Jets

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Broncos up-down drill: Highs and lows for Denver against the Jets

Up: Re-United in Orange. The slogan was emblazoned all over Empower Field, and it in no way felt corny or repetitive. This was a celebration, and it was a delight to see so many fans wearing the same color.

Down: Blue seats. Whether it was COVID concerns or the insane traffic around the stadium, there were more blue seatbacks Sunday (3,897 no-shows) than one might expect for a Broncos team intent on closing out an unbeaten September on a sunny Mile High afternoon.

Up: Larry Legend. Just like every birthday deserves its own weekend, so does a jersey retirement ceremony. Kudos to the Broncos for giving Rockies legend Larry Walker one more chance to take a bow on the big screen in between the first and second quarters. Well deserved.

Down: Failure to launch. Two things are true: 1.) The Broncos secondary was quite good Sunday. 2.) The Jets passing game was just plain bad. Between the drops and errant throws from rookie QB Zach Wilson, it’s clear New York’s aerial ineptitude didn’t leave with the departures of Sam Darnold and Adam Gase.

Up: Sutton strong. Some of the most impressive plays are the ones that go unnoticed, like receiver Courtland Sutton standing after taking an absolute shot on a five-yard reception on Denver’s first scoring drive. Bobble that, and an interception follows.

Down: Mosley lays hammer. What does it sounds like when 71,985 groan all at once? Play back Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley’s first-quarter broadside of Melvin Gordon at the goal line, and you’ll hear it. Of course, Gordon got him back in the second quarter, shedding Mosley’s tackle attempt for a 1-yard TD.

Up: Beck’s back. Inactive the first two games, it didn’t take long for tight end Andrew Beck to show off his value with an exquisite pulling block that helped break Javonte Williams for a 14-yard burst on a sweep left in the first half.

Down: J-E-T-S bad, bad, bad. Don’t ever change, Jets. If anything, you’re always good for a chuckle — like the 56-yard Matt Ammendola field goal in the second quarter that wasn’t … because of a delay-of-game flag. Instead? Yet another punt.

Up: Screen Killer. They call outside linebacker Malik Reed the “Dream Killer” for how he snuffs out quarterbacks’ dreams (which he did once with a sack Sunday). We’ll call him the Screen Killer for what he did blowing up a Jets screen pass at the Broncos’ 33 in the second quarter.

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