For 47 minutes, this game was shaping up to be another forgettable trip out west for the New York Jets. But on 4th and 6 with the game on the line, Santonio Holmes drew a pass interference call on a bomb by Mark Sanchez, setting up the Jets for the easy touchdown and the win.
This was a sloppy football game in a hostile atmosphere for the Jets, who had a short week to prepare for a hungry Denver team. The Broncos were challenged to be tougher this week by coach Josh McDaniels, and they were, keeping the Jets' run game in check for most of the afternoon, forcing Mark Sanchez to win the game for the Jets. For most of the game, that didn't look possible, as Sanchez struggled, throwing his first two interceptions of the season. His most important play wasn't even a completion, it was that valiant heave to Holmes, drawing the penalty that essentially won the game for the Jets.
The Broncos showed up to play in this one, playing the Jets equally throughout. Kyle Orton threw for 209 yards without throwing an interception, but the Jets held him to complete just 14 of his 34 passes. Nothing was easy for Denver's offense all game, but Orton and his receivers made enough plays to have the lead with under two minutes left.
Denver even was able to run the ball with a little bit of success, especially from their quarterbacks. Tim Tebow had the first rushing touchdown of his career taking direct snaps, and Kyle Orton converted a couple of third downs with his feet.
For a little while in the 2nd half, it looked like the Jets were in trouble. Demaryius Thomas beat Darrelle Revis for a touchdown to give the Broncos a seven point lead heading into the 4th quarter, and the Jets' offense just kept shooting itself in the foot. But the Jets then went on a quick five-play drive to tie the game up. Matt Prater answered with a 48-yarder with 3:55 left, and the defense was one play away from getting off the field with a win.
While the penalty will garner a lot of debate, it was a legitimate call. Renaldo Hill had his hand in Holmes's facemask and prevented him from making a real play on the ball. Plus, the Broncos had several questionable penalties go their way in the second half. It seemed like karma.
Now, the Jets will head into the bye week feeling great about themselves. Gang Green is the first team in the NFL to five wins, and they've won all of them in a row. The team did not play to their capabilities this week, but they got out of a tough environment with a win. That's all you can really ask for.