HEADLINES

Clayton: Courtland Sutton the key to Broncos win vs. the Jags

Sep 20, 2021, 5:15 PM
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 19: Wide receiver Courtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos sign...
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

With all the excitement about what Jerry Jeudy was supposed to do in his second season, people tended to forget about Courtland Sutton.

Sutton has been quiet in the preseason because he was coming off an ACL tear. But Jeudy had to go on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain. Sutton stepped up Sunday and played at his Pro Bowl level in the 23-13 win over Jacksonville.

Teddy Bridgewater targeted him 12 times and connected with him for nine completions and 159 yards with a 17.7 yards per catch average. He was a stud, and it was needed. Even though the Broncos were going against a bad team on a 17-game losing streak, Denver didn’t get to do too much with the other receivers. Jeudy was on injured reserve. Tim Patrick got banged up. He caught only three pass for 37 yards. K.J. Hamler had only one catch for five yards.

Sutton went to the Pro Bowl in 2019 after catching 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns. The Broncos didn’t need a lot to beat the Jaguars. The Broncos rushed the ball 30 times, and Bridgewater was his efficient self, throwing for 328 yards with a 125.6 passer rating.

Still, Sutton was the key.

“It was great,” head coach Vic Fangio said of Sutton’s performance. “There’s a lot of big plays in every game. The catch he made in the first drive of the second half there for the big one was critical. I felt they were outplaying us at the ball, both sides of the ball, their DBs against our wideouts and our DBs against their wideouts. We needed to flip that, and that was an exclamation point, flipping it.”

The only downside of the win was injuries. Bradley Chubb re-injured his ankle. Inside linebacker Josey Jewell was lost for the season with a torn pectoral. Still, a win is a win.

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