What a time, Broncos Country. It feels like Christmas morning knowing that we put this horrible losing streak behind us and prevented Patrick Mahomes from wiping the floor with Bronco guts 13 times in a row.
But that wasn’t the focus for everyone. According to head coach Sean Payton, the losing streak wasn’t even discussed during this week’s practices. It was among the first questions asked in Sunday’s post-game press conference, and he addressed it head-on.
“Fair question...It wasn’t streak-driven. It was important for us to play well before the Bye,” he explained, “Getting our third win—we dug ourselves in a hole. Obviously, we’re playing a good team. Honestly, and I told you guys during the week, not once has it come up.”
Payton added that, while he recognizes some of the players have been around throughout the Denver Broncos’ 16 consecutive losses to the Kansas City Chiefs, they are now working with a new roster. As such, they honed in on this game as a separate situation rather than as another installment to a tragic series.
That doesn’t mean the game wasn’t important, though. The coach mentioned the significance of it being a division game, and obviously they were up against a great team.
Recalling some of the details, he admitted he “thought we, defensively, did a fantastic job with their offense, and a tough offense. We didn’t have the sack production, but we had a lot of hurries, and I felt like we did a good job of keeping him off-schedule. Offensively, we really felt good coming into this game with our plan.”
Payton confessed that it’s frustrating when you realize there were more scores to be had, but he was “pleased” with how they ran the ball.
“We had some big drives. Then in the kicking game, the turnover on that hurried-up punt was big. There were a lot of things to look at that were positive. We’re going to play in bigger games than that, but it is a division game, and I’m glad we won.”
On the “ongoing process” of learning how to win, Payton shared that a lot of it is knowing the team better. He also noted that there’s a ‘fine line between a groove and a rut,’ a term he’s been using lately. “I think that’s really true, because the teams are competitive.”
All in all, the coach’s perspective on their team is currently revolved around building an identity.
“I think we’re learning a little bit more about each other. I think a team can build an identity, and I think we’re kind of in that journey right now,” he said, “I was pleased for them today, though. They had a good week of work, and that doesn’t always equate to a win in our league, but it gives you a chance.”
Congratulations to the Denver Broncos for taking home the win. We’re going to have a Bye week to celebrate while they recharge, and then we’ll get ready to face the Buffalo Bills. This season isn’t over yet.