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Jets-Broncos: What was the most important play of the game?

NFL: New York Jets at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What was the most important play in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos?

What does Pro Football Reference think?

Pro Football Reference has a formula to calculate a team’s chances of winning at any given point in the game. Which single play tipped the scales the most in this formula?

There was no monumental swing. Aside from the very early part of the game, Denver’s odds of victory were over 50%.

Josh McCown’s interception in the second quarter to Darian Stewart increased the Broncos’ chances 11% from 73% to 84%. That accounted for the biggest play-to-play swing.

What do I think?

I think this game got away from the Jets early in five plays. I blame Muhammad Wilkerson’s offsides penalty, Darron Lee failing to finish a third down tackle to extend Denver’s first drive, Darryl Roberts not finding the ball on a big completion to set up a field goal, Josh McCown’s fumble deep in Denver territory, and Demaryius Thomas’ 20 yard touchdown on Morris Claiborne.

Of these plays, I will pick the Thomas touchdown on Claiborne. Even with the four plays I mentioned, the Jets were still in a position to escape their early miscues down only 6-0 if they could get a stop. It would have felt like they dodged a bullet. The touchdown there changed the game. The Broncos were up 10-0.

When you fall behind by two scores on the road early, there is a danger of the game snowballing. That is exactly what happened.