John Minchillo/Associated Press
In the passing game, Broncos wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick enjoyed great nights.
Jeudy notably channeled his inner Randy Moss and beat Jets cornerback Pierre Desir in a mid-air fight for a moonball that ended with a 48-yard touchdown:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
JERRY JEUDY MOSS’D THIS DB 😱
Rookie WR gets his first career TD
He finished with two catches (on four targets) for 61 yards and one touchdown.
Patrick finished with team highs of six receptions, 113 yards and one touchdown on seven targets. He arguably made the play of the night with a 31-yard sideline reception late in the fourth quarter and the Broncos down 28-27:
PFF Fantasy Football @PFF_Fantasy
Tim Patrick receiving vs. Jets:
🔸 6 catches
🔸 113 yards
🔸 1 TD
🔸 23.3 PPR points https://t.co/nPJrVEHRVV
The ex-Ute also gets bonus points for his accomplishments despite a high degree of difficulty, per Next Gen Stats:
Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats
Tim Patrick caught 6 of 7 targets for 113 yards and a TD, including 2 third down conversions with a catch probability under 25%.
Q4 (4:11): 31-yard reception, 24.0% completion probability
Q2 (5:35): 40-yard reception, 24.5% completion probability
#DENvsNYJ | #BroncosCountry https://t.co/HVEjLwYa1y
Denver eventually finished the drive with the game-winning field goal before adding an insurance touchdown thanks to a Melvin Gordon III 43-yard touchdown run.
Jeudy, the 15th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, was thrust into the spotlight after Broncos No. 1 wideout Courtland Sutton suffered a torn ACL that will sideline him for the entire season. Jeudy has paced the team with 28 targets, one more than tight end Noah Fant.
He’s responded with at least 50 receiving yards in each of his first four games, a notable feat that places him in good company, per NFL Research:
Jeudy has 15 catches for 234 yards (15.6 yards per reception) and one touchdown. Eight of his catches have gone for 15 or more yards. He’s on pace for 60 receptions for 936 yards and four touchdowns.
Patrick, a third-year pro who went undrafted out of Utah, enjoyed the first 100-yard game of his career. He has 16 catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns on the season, and he’s third on the team with 21 targets.
Like Jeudy, Patrick was forced to assume more responsibility with Sutton out. While he hasn’t been featured as much, he saw the field for 85 percent of snaps in Week 1 and 84 percent of snaps in Week 3 during games in which Sutton did not play, per Pro Football Reference.
He’s also seen at least four targets in each game, so he’s at least been present and relevant in the Broncos offense despite not making a huge impact until Thursday.
Jeudy and Patrick have notably excelled despite playing with three quarterbacks through four weeks in the injured Drew Lock, the benched Jeff Driskel and third-stringer Brett Rypien, so it may not matter who calls signals.
However, the No. 1 quarterback in Lock has an outside shot to return in Week 5 versus the New England Patriots, per Broncos head coach Vic Fangio on KOA Colorado (h/t James Palmer of NFL Network). A Week 6 return against the Miami Dolphins is more likely.
That should presumably brighten Jeudy’s and Patrick’s fantasy outlook moving forward.
Jeudy entered Thursday as the 36th-ranked wide receiver in FantasyPros‘ rest-of-season rankings. Patrick ranked No. 104.
Jeudy was a borderline flex/third wide receiver starting option in 12-team leagues entering the night, but bump him over the line and squarely into a solid flex/third wideout option at this juncture.
As the touchdown showed, fantasy players don’t need him to see many targets for him to get a good weekly score. Unless you’re loaded at wideout and can play mix-and-match every week, start him as your third wide receiver and don’t look back from this point forward.
Patrick shouldn’t be a near-auto start at flex or wideout just yet, although his fantasy outlook clearly rose Thursday. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio offered kind words on him postgame, per Brandon Krisztal of KOA Colorado: “I really like Tim. I think Tim’s a quality NFL receiver. He’s got size, tough. … I’m not surprised by it with Tim. … I’m really glad we have him.”
Add him to your bench if he’s sitting on the waiver wire, but take a wait-and-see approach for at least one week against a tough Patriots defense in Week 5.
He’s a solid reserve for now and could play his way into starting lineups with more productive performances.