It wasn't pretty, but the NY Jets escaped Denver with a 16-9 win against the Broncos and captured their fourth consecutive victory and fourth straight on the road.
Defense, defense, and more defense
While the Jets (5-2) might not statistically have the best defense in the league, it's hard to argue they shouldn't continue to climb the charts as they have allowed just 19 points over the last two weeks.
While Denver's box score might indicate one thing, it does not tell the full story considering they ran 22 more plays than Gang Green and were still held to single digits.
"There's no quit, we don't flinch," head coach Robert Saleh said. "They know that whenever it gets rough there's 60 percent more and they have completely bought in and believe what they are capable of. I've got so much faith in our group especially as the game gets deeper I just feel like we get stronger and it proved again in the fourth quarter."
Whether it was excellent play from Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, Kwon Alexander, or Lamarcus Joyner, anytime the Jets needed a stop their defense was there to answer the call and propel them to their best start since 2010.
A rough day for Zach Wilson
While it is still early in his career and there is a lot of season left, it is hard to come away from this game feeling good about Zach Wilson's performance.
Finishing 16-for-26 for 121 yards, Wilson showed a lot of bad habits from his rookie season and if the Jets are going to take the next step they will need their second-year signal caller to flush those away as soon as possible.
"We know it's going to be ugly so for us as an offense it's just one drive at a time," Wilson said. "Our defense is doing a great job putting us in a good position."
Whether it was airmailing open receivers or putting the offense in bad positions by trying to do too much, Wilson needs to start showing more of the quarterback he was in Pittsburgh rather than the one from the last few weeks and start moving the sticks more consistently because 4-for-25 on third downs the last two weeks will not cut it.
At the end of the day, the Broncos (2-5) do present one of the most stout defenses in the league but it does not get any easier the next three games when he faces a Bill Belichick-coached defense twice and the Buffalo Bills.
The NY Jets offense suffers a brutal blow
The Jets were hit with a gut punch when it was confirmed the day later that rookie running back Breece Hall had suffered a torn ACL and would miss the remainder of the season.
This is a brutal blow considering the 2022 36th overall pick not only showed Offensive Rookie of the Year-type of potential but played a significant role in their offense as well.
"It's tough with all those guys because they’re all great players but unfortunately it's part of the NFL," Wilson added. "I said a little something in the huddle, 'take advantage of this opportunity, step up, time to grow a pair.' I think that's what I said."
Prior to leaving the game with a knee injury, Hall showed more of that promise when he took a toss from Wilson 62 yards to the house to give the Jets their lone touchdown of the game.
Now, it will be next-man-up for Gang Green and that next man comes in the form of Michael Carter who has also proven he can be a dependable back when needed but, in the end, it will be hard to replicate what Hall meant to this team and the Jets fanbase.