Stifling defense helps Denver Broncos jolt New York Jets, end skid

Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian celebrates game-winning touchdown against the Carolina Panthers at the NFL’s season opener and Super Bowl 50 rematch at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on September 8, 2016. File photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI

DENVER — Trevor Siemian led five scoring drives, including one ending in a 20-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, Denver’s defense put on a forceful show and the Broncos snapped their longest losing streak in 50 years by beating the New York Jets 23-0 Sunday.

Brandon McManus kicked field goals of 31, 53 and 40 yards and fullback Andy Janovich had a 1-yard touchdown run, helping the Broncos (4-9) end an eight-game losing streak. The skid was their longest since a nine-game losing streak in 1967.

The Jets (5-8) went virtually nowhere on offense and lost quarterback Josh McCown, who was shaken up for the second time in the game when he took a hit from Broncos linebacker Shane Ray as he released a pass.

McCown left the game under his own power and headed to the locker room for further examination of a left hand injury with 2:54 remaining in the third quarter and did not return. Backup Bryce Petty replaced him, but also could make little headway against the Broncos’ resurgent defense.

Petty also had come in for two plays earlier in the game when McCown was hit simultaneously by two defenders at the end of an 8-yard scramble.

McCown completed 6-of-12 passes for 46 yards before being sidelined and accounted for both of the Jets’ turnovers with a fumble and an interception. Siemian finished 19 of 31 for 200 yards passing and helped the Broncos dominate time of possession.

Leading by 13, the Broncos extended their advantage with Siemian leading a 68-yard drive that Janovich finished with a third-down plunge from 1 yard out for a touchdown.

McManus added his third field goal early in the fourth quarter for an additional cushion.

The Jets set the tone for a futile offensive performance early on. Their first four possessions ended in a fumble, interception and two punts as the Broncos went in front 13-0 at the half.

Denver sandwiched two field goals around a missed 29-yarder from McManus and capitalized on a Jets turnover for its first touchdown. Siemian tossed a 20-yard strike to Thomas, who grabbed the ball in the end zone in front of cornerback Morris Claiborne.

The Broncos’ defense set up the possession when linebacker Brandon Marshall sacked McCown, forcing a fumble that was recovered at the Jets’ 20-yard line by defensive lineman Adam Gotsis.

McCown was shaken up early in the second quarter when he was sandwiched between defenders. He was replaced for two plays by Petty and threw an interception on his first play back with the Jets in the midst of a promising drive. Safety Darian Stewart made the interception, cutting in front of the intended receiver Robby Anderson, along the sideline to make the play.

NOTES: Broncos S Justin Simmons left in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. … Jets LS Thomas Hennessy was shaken up covering a first-quarter punt. He did not return after it was determined he had suffered a head injury and was replaced by TE Eric Tomlinson. … WR Demaryius Thomas caught his 56th career touchdown pass, snapping a tie with Hall of Fame TE Shannon Sharpe for second on Denver’s all-time list. … The Jets lost RB Elijah McGuire with an ankle injury in the first quarter.

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