SPOKANE, Wash — Spokane native Brett Rypien survived three interceptions and won his first game as an NFL starter, defeating the New York Jets 37-28 on Thursday.
Brett completed 19-of-31 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. One of his interceptions was a pick six in the third quarter.
"First and foremost, we got the win. That was the goal coming into tonight. That's what I wanted to do. That feels really good," Brett said post game.
Perhaps the biggest play of the game for Rypien though wasn't a throw. With two minutes in the fourth quarter, Rypien had a block for his running back, Melvin Gordon, which led to the game-sealing touchdown. Prior to the touchdown, Denver was only up 30-28.
"That's just me trying to make a play for a team at a point that we needed some extra points there to seal it. I don't know if it was a great block. I just tried to get in his way," Brett said about the play.
Both of Rypien's touchdown passes were beauties but for different reasons. Rypien's first touchdown was a bit underthrown, but wide receiver Jerry Jeudy jumped over the Jets' corner to secure the touchdown.
The second touchdown was a beauty due to Rypien's pass. He threaded the needle to Tim Patrick, which put the Broncos up 24-16 in the third.
"It was up and down obviously. I thought there was some good things. We hit some big plays which is always important, but throwing three interceptions, you're not going to win many times in this league. We found a way to win tonight in spite of that," Broncos' head coach Vic Fangio said of Brett's performance on Thursday. Fangio would not commit to starting Rypien next week after the game.
Russell Wilson also had high praise for Rypien during the third quarter:
Rypien became the first Spokane high school graduate to start in the quarterback position in an NFL game in 25 years on Thursday. His uncle, Mark Rypien, was the last Spokane quarterback to do so in 1995 with the St. Louis Rams.
Last Sunday Brett played his first NFL snaps in the final drive of the Broncos' game game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He went 8-of-9 passing for 53 yards and an interception.