Jerry Jeudy struggled through the toughest game of his young NFL career on Sunday, as he dropped a series of game-altering passes in the Broncos' 19-16 loss to the Chargers.
In fact, it may have been the poorest performance of his career at any level.
"Never," said Jeudy when asked if he'd ever faced such struggles in a game.
But after the toughest game of his young career, Jerry Jeudy did not make excuses. Instead, he accepted blame and took responsibility for his mistakes that cost the team.
"I've just got to make plays," Jeudy said. "Nobody stopped me. I was open. I've just got to finish. I beat myself today."
Jeudy's issues initially appeared near the end of the first half, as he dropped a pass on an out-breaking route and then another on a skinny post with the Broncos trying to get into field-goal range before the end of the first half.
The issues persisted into the second half, as Jeudy had a pass in the end zone glance off his hands and a deep pass on the Broncos' final drive slip through his fingers. He also failed to connect with Lock on another deep throw in the fourth quarter, but the throw was a bit beyond his reach.
"I watched the ball[s] come in; it just dropped," Jeudy said. "I just got to focus on the next play. It just happened too many times today. That's unacceptable."
Jeudy was targeted a season-high 15 times and caught six passes for 61 yards as he was the main focal point of the team's offense. His six catches were the second-highest total of his young career, but it was clear Sunday he could've had even more.
"I can't dwell on this, really," Jeudy said. "[I have to] just focus on the little details that I need to focus on to get better and work on my craft."
Perhaps that's why, as Jeudy accepted responsibility for his play, his teammates also offered their support.
"I told him that, 'You're one of the most talented guys I've ever been around and you're one of the most talented guys in this league. You're going to play for a really long time and you're going to have days like this because of how good you are and how many chances you're going to get to go out and catch the ball. You have to let it go. You have to go out there because, you never know when there's 30 seconds left, and you might be able to have the ball in your hands to win the game, and then all those drops are forgotten about,'" quarterback Drew Lock said. "I told him that he's just too good to hang his head and too good to be upset. There [have been] a lot of opportunities for me to hang my head this year, and it's all about how you respond, how you get back up, and I know Jerry has been so good to this point that this might be one of the first times he's struggled. It takes a guy that's struggled a few times here and there to maybe go up and say something him."
Head Coach Vic Fangio believes those struggles will give way to future success, even if Sunday's game was a difficult pill to swallow in the moment.
"He's got to come back from it," Fangio said. "[It] could be a defining moment in his career. He's got to come back, have a great week of practice, catch a bunch of balls, and then show up on Sunday; when the balls are thrown to him, he'll catch it."