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Broncos vs. Jets final score: 3 things we learned from Denver's 31-17 win

It was close, kind of, for a little while, but with the Jets knocking on the door, the Broncos turned a Geno Smith pass into a touchdown to put it away.

It took a full quarter, but the Earth finally slipped back into its proper axis when Peyton Manning found Demaryius Thomas in the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown with about six minutes left in the first half to give the Broncos the lead again. He found the other Thomas, Julius, for a 22-yard touchdown on the next drive, and the Broncos were well on their way to a win over the New York Jets.

New York's defense and self-inflicted wounds gave the Broncos a rough start to the game, reminiscent of a February trip to MetLife still haunting the Broncos. The Jets grabbed their first lead in a game since Week 2 when Geno Smith hit tight end Jace Amaro for a touchdown late in the first quarter.

The Jets found some life again in the second half of the game, adding 10 points to make it a one-score game with less than 10 minutes left. And then the inevitable happened. Aqib Talib picked off Geno Smith to snuff out the Jets.

1) Geno Smith bounces back ... and back to goat status. Just when everyone with a Twitter account was ready to write off Geno Smith, he turns in a nice effort. Maybe he's learned more than just time zones over the last two weeks. Smith was playing a solid game and had his team closing the gap, until that interception with 23 seconds left.

2) So f@#king easy. Julius Thomas really does make it look easy. It probably doesn't hurt to have Peyton Manning throwing him the football, but still. He now has more touchdown catches through five games (nine) than any other tight end in NFL history.

3) Denver is still the best in the AFC. Until proven otherwise, at least. This wasn't a great effort for the Broncos, but a win is a win. That puts Denver at 4-1, tied with San Diego for the division lead pending the outcome of the Chargers' game later Sunday afternoon. Denver's schedule has San Francisco, San Diego and New England for the next three games; we'll know soon enough if the Broncos are the class of the AFC.