Vic Fangio eschews handshake to avoid postgame fracas in 'prudent' move

With matching 0-3 records entering their Thursday night meeting, someone was guaranteed their first win (or tie) between the Jets and Broncos.

One was also essentially guaranteed the drought would continue. The team without the canteen ended up being the Jets, who expressed some understandable frustrations late in their 37-28 loss to Denver in the form of personal fouls, facemasks and unnecessary roughness penalties in the final few minutes.

When it came time to shake hands at the end of the chippy affair, Denver coach Vic Fangio shooed his players off the field, jogging while waving his arms toward the visiting tunnel. He and Jets coach Adam Gase did not shake hands.

“There was just a couple of personal fouls there at the end and our sideline was getting pissed off about it and I just wanted to avoid having any confrontation at the end of the game and having it get ugly there,” Fangio explained afterward. “So, I tried to get our guys to leave quickly just to avoid anything happening there. I thought it was the prudent thing to do.”

New York didn’t sack first-time starter Brett Rypien once Thursday night — well, at least legally. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams did get to Rypien on third-and-6 with less than six minutes to play with the Jets clinging to a one-point lead, but grabbed Rypien’s facemask in the process, leading to a penalty and a fresh set of downs.

With the game in the hands of the Broncos and out of reach for the still-winless Jets five minutes later, frustrations boiled over when Jets nose tackle Steve McLendon teed off on Rypien, who was throwing the ball away on fourth-and-13. A play earlier, the Jets jumped offsides, leading to a free play in which McLendon first blasted Rypien.

The sequence led play-by-play announcer Joe Buck to exclaim in disbelief Rypien had gotten “smoked again” and angered Rypien’s teammates. Tackle Garett Bolles could be seen shouting toward the Jets sideline before Fangio managed to pull him away from the scene.

“I saw those guys start going off and I heard Vic yelling at his guys saying ‘get in the locker room,’ so I saw what was going on,” Gase said. “I think he was just trying to make sure we didn’t have any kind of melee. It was getting heated.”

The two teams combined to commit 19 penalties in what was an entertaining but sloppy performance on national television. It wasn’t until late, though, that things started to get tense.

Falling to 0-4 will do that to some teams. Gase didn’t attempt to make excuses for his team’s conduct after the loss, and said he’d reach out to Fangio — whom Gase said he’s “known for a minute” — at the appropriate time.

“Penalties were just, they were brutal,” Gase said afterward. “When we did hit him, we’re hitting him late, too late, and we’re getting personal fouls. It’s just ridiculous.”

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