Brett Rypien, Broncos scramble for first win while Adam Gase and the Jets continue to flounder

Rypien, the nephew of former Washington Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien, had two touchdown passes but also threw three interceptions in a wildly uneven performance. Even so, the Broncos beat the Jets, 37-28, at fan-less MetLife Stadium.

The Jets had six personal fouls in the game, the last of which came with three seconds remaining. Broncos Coach Vic Fangio bypassed the customary postgame handshake with his Jets counterpart, Adam Gase, in favor of hurrying his players off the field.

“Our sideline was getting [ticked] off about it and I just wanted to avoid any confrontation at the end of the game and having it get ugly there,” Fangio said in his postgame video news conference, mentioning the Jets’ personal fouls. “So I tried to get our guys to leave quickly, just to avoid anything happening there. I thought it was the prudent thing to do.”

Rypien said the Jets “definitely did take a couple late shots and, you know, got the face mask there on the last one” and that was “for our benefit.”

The young quarterback also said: “It definitely kind of dragged out there at the end. It was a battle. I think that it was kind of like my first introduction to like, wow, this is what the NFL is like every week. It’s a battle to get wins out here. We had to fight for everything we got. It didn’t go right at times. A lot of things went wrong. … I turned the ball over. Thankfully we were able to come out with the win.”

Gase said he heard Fangio instructing Broncos players after the game to get into the locker room.

“I think he was just trying to make sure we didn’t have any kind of melee,” Gase said in his postgame video news conference. “It was getting heated.”

Fangio was savoring the victory after the Broncos’ 0-3 start.

“Winning has cured more ills than penicillin,” Fangio said. “It just makes them feel better and it does give them confidence that they can go out there and win a game. And hopefully we can build on it.”

Rypien became the third different starter at quarterback for Denver in four games this season, taking over for Jeff Driskel with Drew Lock sidelined by a shoulder injury, and the Broncos’ ninth different starting quarterback since the beginning of the 2017 season.

He just was promoted last week from the practice squad after entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie signed by the Broncos last year out of Boise State. He played like a veteran at times Thursday, completing 19 of 31 passes for 242 yards. He had touchdown passes to wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick. Tailback Melvin Gordon provided a touchdown run for Denver and the Broncos led, 27-16, early in the fourth quarter.

Things unraveled for Rypien from there as he threw interceptions on consecutive Broncos’ possessions. One was returned for a touchdown by Jets cornerback Pierre Desir and the other set up a go-ahead field goal for New York. But kicker Brandon McManus’s 53-yard field goal put the Broncos back in front, 30-28, with just more than three minutes remaining. Gordon sealed the outcome with a 43-yard touchdown dash for Denver in the final two minutes after a failed fourth-down try by the Jets.

“I think, first and foremost, we got the win,” Rypien said in a video conference with reporters. “That was the goal coming into tonight. That’s what I wanted to do. That feels really good. As far as the mistakes go, there were two of them that shouldn’t have happened. … I’m thinking about we got the win tonight. I’m feeling pretty good about it.”

Fangio did not commit to Rypien getting another start. Rypien was unconcerned about that, saying: “We’ll see. That’s obviously not up to me. I’m just going to enjoy this win tonight and we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”

The Jets’ record dropped to 0-4, increasing the pressure on the beleaguered Gase.

“I’m not happy about this,” Gase said. “I mean, I know we can play way better than this. I know we can not beat ourselves and do the things we’re doing… We’ve got to make the right decisions. We can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and over again.”

Quarterback Sam Darnold had a spectacular 46-yard touchdown run in the early going. Darnold returned to the game after exiting following a sack on which he landed heavily on his right shoulder, giving way to Joe Flacco. But the Jets had to settle for five field goals. They were penalized 11 times in all for 118 yards.

“This is what I do for a living and this is what this coaching staff does,” Gase said. “I mean, this is the adversity of the NFL.”

October 2, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT

Brett Rypien helps Broncos prevail, 37-28, to keep Jets winless

By Mark Maske

Brett Rypien made the most of his first NFL start — sort of — as the second-year quarterback helped the Denver Broncos get into the win column for the season and added to the miseries of the still-winless New York Jets.

Rypien, the nephew of former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien, threw two touchdown passes but also had three interceptions in an uneven performance. Even so, the Broncos beat the Jets, 37-28, Thursday night at fan-less MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

(Final score: Broncos 37, Jets 28)

October 1, 2020 at 11:44 PM EDT

Melvin Gordon’s touchdown run gives Broncos some breathing room

By Mark Maske

Somehow, the Broncos again have a comfortable lead. Tailback Melvin Gordon ran for a 43-yard touchdown after the Jets failed on a fourth-down try. (Broncos 37, Jets 28, 1:48 left in the fourth quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 11:35 PM EDT

Brandon McManus’s long field goal puts Broncos back ahead

By Mark Maske

The Broncos have the lead again in a back-and-forth fourth quarter. Brandon McManus drilled a 53-yard field goal, even after Brett Rypien was called for intentional grounding on a third-down throwaway. (Broncos 30, Jets 28, 3:08 left in the fourth quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 11:26 PM EDT

Yet another field goal puts Jets ahead

By Mark Maske

Sam Ficken provided his fifth field goal and the Jets have the lead. Ficken connected from 37 yards when Coach Adam Gase opted against a fourth-down try with less than a yard to go for a first down. The on-field officials had awarded the Jets a first down, but the spot was changed on an instant replay challenge by the Broncos. The field goal was set up by the Jets’ latest interception of Brett Rypien. (Jets 28, Broncos 27, 6:23 left in the fourth quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 11:16 PM EDT

Brett Rypien throws another interception

By Mark Maske

Things are unraveling for Brett Rypien and the Broncos. Rypien threw his third interception of the night and second in the last two possessions. This one went to Jets cornerback Brian Poole. The Jets take possession at the Denver 44-yard line with a chance to take the lead. (Broncos 27, Jets 25, 8:43 left in the fourth quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 11:10 PM EDT

Brett Rypien throws pick-six, Jets fail on two-point conversion

By Mark Maske

Brett Rypien made his second big mistake of the night, throwing his second interception to Jets cornerback Pierre Desir. This time, Desir went 35 yards with the return for a touchdown. Rypien threw the pass while under pressure in the pocket and sent it directly to Desir along the sideline. The Jets failed on a two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game. (Broncos 27, Jets 25, 10:45 left in the fourth quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 11:01 PM EDT

Sam Ficken gets fourth field goal for Jets

By Mark Maske

Make it four field goals for Jets kicker Sam Ficken. He connected from 54 yards after Sam Darnold was sacked for a 13-yard loss on third down. (Broncos 27, Jets 19, 11:44 left in the fourth quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 10:56 PM EDT

Long field goal ups Denver’s lead to 11 points

By Mark Maske

The Broncos extended their lead with a long-distance field goal by Brandon McManus. He connected from 54 yards to up Denver’s advantage to 11 points in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. (Broncos 27, Jets 16, 14:11 left in the fourth quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 10:41 PM EDT

Brett Rypien’s second touchdown pass extends Broncos’ lead

By Mark Maske

Brett Rypien continues to impress in his first NFL start, throwing a dart to wide receiver Tim Patrick for a seven-yard touchdown. It was Rypien’s second touchdown pass of the night, and he continues to outplay the Jets’ Sam Darnold. Rypien also had nice throws on the drive for completions to wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant. (Broncos 24, Jets 16, 4:31 left in the third quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 10:28 PM EDT

Another field goal gets Jets within one point

By Mark Maske

The Jets continue to get field goals instead of touchdowns, but they’re drawing closer. Sam Ficken connected from 32 yards for his third field goal of the night. This kick by Ficken was set up by a debatable defensive pass interference call on the Broncos. (Broncos 17, Jets 16, 11:23 left in the third quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 10:19 PM EDT

Brett Rypien leads Broncos to halftime lead over Jets

By Mark Maske

Second-year quarterback Brett Rypien had a good first half for the Broncos in his first NFL start Thursday night in East Rutherford, N.J.

Rypien, a former undrafted rookie from Boise State who is the nephew of Mark Rypien, a former Super Bowl-winning quarterback for Washington, threw for a touchdown in a 9-for-11, 141-yard passing half. The winless Broncos lead the winless Jets, 17-13.

“I think he’s looked darn good,” analyst Troy Aikman said of Rypien on the NFL Network broadcast.

Rypien is the third starter at quarterback for the Broncos in four games this season, taking over for Jeff Driskel with Drew Lock sidelined by a shoulder injury. Rypien had relieved Driskel late in Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and completed his first eight passes that day before throwing an interception. On Thursday, he connected with rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy for a 48-yard touchdown on which Jeudy took the football away from Jets cornerback Pierre Desir.

That led NBA star LeBron James to write on Twitter: “JEUDY!!!!!! Moss’d.”

Rypien also had a 40-yard completion in the half to wideout Tim Patrick.

There were plenty of injuries during a first half played on the MetLife Stadium turf that drew criticism earlier this season from the San Francisco 49ers. It also was a penalty-filled half: The Jets were penalized eight times for 83 yards, and they had four personal fouls.

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold left the game after falling heavily on his right shoulder on a sack by Denver’s Alexander Johnson. Aikman said he believed that Darnold suffered a severe injury, perhaps a broken collarbone. But Darnold, after being replaced by Joe Flacco, returned to the game on the following Jets possession and finished the half.

Earlier, he had a 46-yard touchdown run after eluding a would-be sack by Johnson. That also prompted a Twitter comment by James, who apparently doesn’t have much to do on a night off in the NBA bubble and wrote: “Helluva run by Darnold! The juke move once he got out the pocket was a RB elite move.” (Broncos 17, Jets 13 at halftime)

October 1, 2020 at 9:55 PM EDT

Broncos retake lead as Melvin Gordon awarded touchdown on replay review

By Mark Maske

The Broncos reclaimed the lead on a one-yard touchdown run by tailback Melvin Gordon. He was awarded the touchdown on a review initiated by the replay booth during a Jets timeout after Gordon initially had been ruled down by contact inside the 1-yard line. Brett Rypien had a 40-yard completion to wide receiver Tim Patrick on the drive. Jeff Driskel replaced Rypien for a play and provided a nine-yard run on a quarterback keeper. He slid at the end of the play and was hit in the head, as the Jets were called for the fourth personal foul of the half. (Broncos 17, Jets 10, 1:37 left in the second quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 9:37 PM EDT

Jets convert interception into field goal to draw even

By Mark Maske

The Jets converted an interception thrown by Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien into a 26-yard field goal by Sam Ficken. It was a second chance on the same drive for Ficken; he missed from 46 yards but the Jets kept possession after a personal foul called on the Broncos for an illegal hit to the head of the long snapper. The Jets moved 55 yards in 11 plays after Rypien threw the interception to Jets cornerback Pierre Desir, who had misplayed a deep pass on an earlier touchdown catch by Denver rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Desir made a nice grab along the sideline for the interception, just managing to get both feet in bounds. The on-field officials called Desir out of bounds for an incompletion, but the Jets got that ruling overturned with an instant replay challenge. (Broncos 10, Jets 10, 6:21 left in the second quarter)

October 1, 2020 at 9:25 PM EDT

Sam Darnold re-enters the game for Jets

By Mark Maske

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold reentered the game, to the surprise of many. Darnold had exited after landing heavily on his right shoulder on a sack, and analyst Troy Aikman said on the NFL Network broadcast he was convinced that Darnold had suffered an injury serious enough to keep him out for the remainder of this game and beyond. But after being examined by the Jets’ medical staff, Darnold returned and took over for backup Joe Flacco on the following Jets’ drive. Darnold was sacked on his first play back. (Broncos 10, Jets 7, 12:00 left in the second quarter)