DENVER – Jake Plummer threw for 225 yards and no interceptions, Mike Anderson ran for three scores and the Broncos handled the struggling Jets 27-0 on Sunday, recording their first shutout in eight years and staying on track to host their first playoff game since the 1998 Super Bowl season.

New York (2-8) lost its fifth straight, sustaining its first shutout since 1995 and went without a touchdown for the third time this season.

Last week, after a 30-3 loss at Carolina, Panthers cornerback Ken Lucas accused the Jets of quitting at the end. That couldn’t be said in this one, although by the time Herman Edwards’ team started standing up to the Broncos in the second half, the point had already been proven.

Led by Anderson, who also ran for 113 yards, Denver (8-2) scored on drives of 95 and 81 yards on its first two possessions, controlled the ball for 23:39 in the first half and held the Jets to a grand total of two offensive plays in the second quarter.

Jets quarterback Brooks Bollinger was knocked out with a concussion that left him vomiting on the sideline. Vinny Testaverde replaced Bollinger and finished with 152 yards, including a few second-half drives in which the Jets’ offense looked decent in spurts. But he lost a fumble on the second snap he took and four of the first five drives he engineered ended in turnovers, leading to New York’s second consecutive embarrassing loss.

John Lynch and Champ Bailey had interceptions for Denver and Michael Myers recovered a fumble caused by Ian Gold’s sack – a few of the many highlights for a Denver defense that finished with four sacks and five turnovers.

Denver held the venerable Curtis Martin to 7 yards on four carries, his worst output since a 5-yard game early in 2002 when he was hurting and didn’t play much.

New York had a few decent moments.

With Denver looking for the kill on its second drive, New York’s exhausted defense held the Broncos to a field goal, even after allowing a first down when Anderson ran for 2 yards on fourth-and-2. And when Mike Shanahan decided to go for the touchdown with 3 seconds left in the half and the Broncos on the 1, the Jets held to keep their deficit at 17-0.

Naturally, though, they were hollow victories that didn’t come close to masking both New York’s problems and Denver’s domination.

Plummer was his usual efficient self. He lost a fumble on a fourth-down scramble in the third quarter, but by going 18-for-26 with no interceptions, he increased his team-record streak to 219 straight passes without a pick.

Meanwhile, going against the league’s third-worst offense, the Broncos allowed only 10 first downs and 195 yards.

AP-ES-11-20-05 1922EST


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