In his final game before his contract season, Jerry Jeudy said: He’s poised to be the consistent big wideout Denver desperately needs.
The Broncos’ third-year receiver recorded five catches for 154 yards, two of them over 50 yards, in the Broncos’ 31–28 victory over the Chargers at Empower Field.
“It’s really cool to see him step into that[recent big-play role],” said Safety’s Justin Simmons. I am just showing you.”
Sunday’s performance at Empower Field was once again solidified as Judy as the No. 1 receiver in the offense of Russell Wilson, who suffered an injury to KJ Hamler late in the season and underperformed Cortland Sutton. And that brought Gameball to Judy as well.
“He’s an explosive player,” interim head coach Jerry Rosberg said. “I didn’t play explosive enough last week (loss to Kansas City), but Jerry helped me out today.”
Judy finished the season with 972 receiving yards. This is a career-high, his first 1,000 yards without his one big play in his season. He surpassed 100 yards in two of Denver’s last three games and set a career-high with three touchdowns on eight catches in a home loss to Kansas City in Week 14.
It marked a blistering end to the season for Judy, who missed the majority of three games from Weeks 10 through 12 after injuring his ankle in the Broncos’ opener in the Tennessee loss. Despite missing that time, he still finished as the team’s leading receiver.
Rosberg said he saw “a more physical Jerry Judy” midway through the season, especially in Judy’s ability to finish plays with more yards after defenders caught up to him.
“He’s still developing (as a player),” Rosberg said. “He clearly has the ability and he can be a great player.”
Judy has come a long way since her rookie season when she struggled with drops. He had two losses in his 2020 debut against the Titans, including one that could have robbed Denver of key points in his 16-14 loss. rice field. He finished the year with a team-high 10 drops, including 5 drops in a late-season loss to the Chargers.
But Judy was the unreliable receiver opposition this time against Los Angeles. After the catch, his hands were sure and his feet even more sure as Chargers defenders continued to struggle to corral him.
Judy said it “feels really good” going into the offseason on a personal note.
“Coaches put me in the right places to play, and I take advantage of them,” Judy said. “The biggest thing is that I have become more consistent. Once I have the ball, I want to play whenever I have a chance. It caused a breakout at the end of the season.”
Judy’s goal for 2022 was to lead the league in all major receiving categories. He fell short of that, but if the Broncos offense can somehow find an identity next season, that could be a realistic goal for 2023.
Will the rest of the league look to Judy’s late-season surge? What could that portend?
“I hope so,” said Judy.