The Denver Broncos fell to the Kansas City Chiefs on the road Thursday night 19-8 on a night where the defense had their best performance of the year, the Chiefs offense had perhaps their worst, and the Broncos offense just couldn’t capitalize.
Despite the loss, which now has the Broncos sitting at 1-5 on the season, with that one win coming on a miraculous come-from-behind victory over an equally terrible Chicago Bears team (who may actually not be that terrible now?), head coach Sean Payton isn’t going to lose his head.
“I said this (to the team) not five minutes ago that I’m not discouraged,” Payton said after the game. “I thought they played particularly hard defensively and did a great job with red zone defense, which was outstanding. Offensively, we struggled...our third down numbers were poor.”
The Broncos were just four of 10 on third down conversions despite solid backfield performances from both Jaleel McLaughlin and Javonte Williams.
“From a third down perspective, we struggled to get anything going until late in the game,” he said. “But we’ll see this team in two weeks. I told them after the game, you can be disappointed, but don’t be discouraged.”
Payton once again circled back to third down struggles, though, citing the pass game, where Russell Wilson only threw for 95 yards and two interceptions, as something that needs fixing.
“We knew third down was going to be a challenge with what they do defensively, but what we did overall wasn’t good enough,” Payton said. “There’s a handful of plays I called as well where I was anticipating one thing and got something else. We have to be better there. To win in our league, you’ve got to be better throwing the ball.”
Despite coming up short, Payton reiterated that he was pleased with the energy the team brought, particularly the defense.
“We played an imperfect game, but i was pleased, as I thought we had great effort and energy tonight,” he said. “On a short week, it’s still a tough loss, but I thought we played hard, and it’s not always good enough, especially when you turn the ball over, but I was encouraged with how we played mentally and physically.”
Following the loss, the Broncos will welcome the Green Bay Packers one week from this upcoming Sunday, where on extra rest, they will hope to get back in the win column.
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