Why Vic Fangio Is ‘Pissed off’ Despite Broncos Mauling Jets

Vic Fangio

Getty Head coach Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos looks on during an NFL preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on August 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington.

The Denver Broncos are 3-0 for the first time since 2016 after a dominant 26-0 performance at home to the New York Jets. In their first game at Mile High since January 3, 2021, the Broncos outclassed Gang Green in all three phases of the game.

Denver enforced its first shutout in two seasons, with four players sacking Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. Inside linebacker Alexander Johnson was the only Bronco to get to the quarterback multiple times (twice).

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Von Miller got his customary game day sack, taking his total to four from three games. While the defense created two turnovers with Justin Simmons and rookie Caden Sterns both intercepting Wilson.

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Offense Missing Scoring Power

Things are humming on defense but Broncos’ head coach Vic Fangio wasn’t all too impressed with his team’s inability to score touchdowns. Of their 26 points, 12 came from field goals, courtesy of kicker Brandon McManus. Disappointingly, the Broncos were two-of-five in the red zone. Fangio was annoyed but overall remained philosophical when discussing the offense’s scoring struggles.

“Yeah, that’s concerning, and it’s frustrating,” Fangio said post-game, September 26. “It pisses you off when it happens, but we’ve been much better in the red zone this year overall. Obviously today we had to settle for the field goal the one time and then we fumbled one time, but I feel a lot better about our red zone offense.”

Despite the misgivings some may have in the Broncos’ offense, particularly with Baltimore coming to town next Sunday, Bridgewater and co. showed they are gaining greater continuity. Slow starts were the modus operandi in Weeks 1 and 2, but today’s pile-on heaped further pressure on an already under-siege Jets team.

Hot Start Key to 100% Record

Denver jumped out to a 17-0 lead just before the half, ensuring the Jets abandoned balanced play-calling in favor of a pass-heavy offense. “It was much better than the first two games,” Fangio said. “It took us a while to put the points on the board — it was good to get a score early.

“Then we tacked on a field goal obviously making it ten nothing and it’s always good. I mean, it doesn’t change the total complexion of the game, but it gives you a different feel as a coach when you’re calling it.”

Teddy Bridgwater was surgical once again, completing 19 of 25 passes for 235 yards, accruing a quarterback rating of 104.9. Bridgewater may not have scored a touchdown but he managed avoid an interception for the third straight week. The former Carolina signal-caller added 24 yards from six rushes on the ground to complement Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon’s efforts.

Both running backs scored a touchdown with Gordon rushing for 61 yards from 18 carries, while Williams, who lost a fumble on the 1-yard line, ran 12 times for 29 yards. Unsurprisingly the Broncos dominated time of possession for the third straight week but the run game will need to improve further if Baltimore are to be beaten next Sunday.

“We’re going to have to figure out a way to run the ball against these loaded boxes or we just have to keep throwing it,” Fangio said. “That would be the one thing these first three teams definitely didn’t want us to get started—running the ball. All three of them had various degrees of success doing that. We had a lot of ones and zeros in there.

“They’re blitzing DBs designed for the run, not to get a pass rush on the quarterback. We’re going to have to figure that out a little bit and there’s always little things you’ve got to get better at.”

You can’t get better than 3-0, even if the teams you’ve played have a combined record of 0-9. Either way Fangio and his team are going to celebrate the wins, just not for too long.

“I enjoy that we won these three games, but by the time I get home tonight I’m going to start working on the Ravens.”

Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic

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