clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sean Payton: Broncos are a better team today

The Broncos head coach is happy with Russell Wilson’s progress as well as improvement in the run game plus red zone D.

Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs Set Number: X164449 TK1

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Coming off their bye week and staring down the harder part of their schedule, the Broncos have shown great improvement in a lot of areas the past few games.

“I feel like we’re a better team today than we were four or five weeks ago. You can see that in a lot of ways,” head coach Sean Payton said Monday. “I think we’re a lot further down the road, and because of that, you get that much more invested and recognize the next opportunity at hand.”

For Denver that’s a Monday Night Football game against a Bills team that is sliding but cannot be taken for granted.

Thankfully the spots Payton believes the Broncos have improved the most will be useful for beating the Bills.

“I think we’re defending the run better, No. 1,” the coach said. “I think our red zone defense has been much improved. I think offensively, we’ve been more efficient running the ball. We had better red zone numbers offensively last week. In the kicking game, week-to-week we’re winning most of those battles, which means a lot.”

Payton added that return game has also been much-improved to the point that it’s positively impacting the game.

“We’re doing a number of the things that are necessary to win games that I don’t think we were doing nearly as well at the start of the season,” he said.

As fans, we’ve watched the defense generally get stronger while the passing offense has seemingly struggled. But Payton believes quarterback Russell Wilson is doing a good job leading the offense as a whole - even if it’s primarily using his own legs or handing off the ball.

“Those numbers are all good. The most important thing is how we’re playing as a team and how we’re playing as an offense. The No. 1 job is to get us in the endzone,” Payton said. “The things we’ve seen that I’ve been encouraged with are the off-schedule plays. He does a great job of working the pocket, climbing the pocket.”

Payton added that continuing to reduce turnovers and manage the game properly are ongoing goals, but he likes where Wilson is right now - especially for a guy in his third offense in three years.

“Every day he’s working at it and working his tail off at it,” Payton said before not actually addressing the question of what he wants to still see from Wilson. “I would say, to answer your question, there are a lot of things that we’ve been impressed with and that he’s doing very well. There are some things that, obviously, he wants to improve on, and collectively, that we want to [improve on] offensively.”

But Payton was a little more transparent about his interests in getting Marvin Mims more involved in the offense the second half of the season.

“We really believe we have a good young talented player,” the coach said, almost admitting they haven’t done that well yet. “Obviously, there are other players on the offense that deserve the same type of attention relative to play design. We’re going to work our tails off to move that needle where he’s getting opportunities, not only in the passing game. He just does a lot of things well, and he’s really good with the ball in his hands.”

And Payton also praised another wide receiver - one who had been thought to be a highly likely trade candidate last week.

Although Payton acknowledged that they were listening to calls, Jerry Jeudy has always been “an important piece” of what he wants to do with the offense.

“When we’re talking about Jerry, shoot, he’s a guy that we think is dynamic,” Payton said, adding that it’s “a fickle game” so one game Brandon Johnson is getting three touchdowns and Jerry has none. “Sometimes that’s the nature of the passing game, but each week, there’s a lot that goes into what we’re game planning. He played extremely well last week, and we think he is going to be very important for us going forward.”

Broncos/NFL News

Broncos seeking an offensive turnaround similar to their defensive about-face after a rocky start
The Denver Broncos turned around a rotten defense with a series of changes that have made their Miami meltdown a distant memory. Cornerbacks Damarri Mathis and Essang Bassey were benched for Fabian Moreau and Ja'Quan McMillian, respectively. Pass rushers Randy Gregory and Frank Clark were sent packing.

Improved Broncos get to show their stuff in two straight nationally televised games | Denver Broncos |
The Broncos have improved plenty in recent weeks. Now they have a chance to show that to the nation.

Must Broncos beat Buffalo to make a playoff run?
The Broncos won two straight before their bye week, including a streak-busting romp over Kansas City. But the playoff odds remain long at 3-5 despite confidence from players. So, is a Monday night win at Buffalo required for a postseason push?

Vikings/Broncos game in Week 11 to stay on Sunday Night Football - Daily Norseman
The purple will stay in prime time after all

Broncos Journal: Predicting Denver’s final 9 games of 2023 season
The Broncos are confident in the players on the roster to make a turnaround after the bye week. Let’s try to predict how the rest of the season could play out.

Sean Payton: Jerry Jeudy "important piece" of Broncos offense
Broncos coach Sean Payton sees WR Jerry Jeudy as "an important piece of what we're doing" and also thinks Denver needs to get rookie WR Marvin Mims, Jr. more involved in the season's second half.

Sean Payton focusing on 'more touches' for rookie receiver Marvin Mims | Denver Broncos |
At least Sean Payton has had an extra week to come up with ways to reintegrate rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. in the offense.

Mile High Morning: Revisiting the Broncos’ top special teams plays of the first half of the season
Here’s a look back at five of the Broncos’ exciting special teams highlights from the first eight games.

Cardinals to start QB Kyler Murray against Falcons barring setback this week
The Arizona Cardinals plan to start quarterback Kyler Murray against the Falcons on Sunday barring a setback, head coach Jonathan Gannon announced on Monday.

Giants QB Daniel Jones suffered torn ACL in loss to Raiders, will miss remainder of 2023 season
An MRI on Monday showed that Giants QB Daniel Jones suffered a torn ACL during Sunday's 30-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, per head coach Brian Daboll.

Vikings plan to start QB Josh Dobbs vs. Saints after sensational debut
The Vikings plan to start quarterback Josh Dobbs against the Saints in Week 10 following his heroic performance against the Falcons on Sunday.

Patriots HC Bill Belichick on job status: 'I'm going to control what I can control and get ready for the Colts'
The Patriots currently stand at 2-7 following Sunday's loss to the Commanders. Head coach Bill Belichick on Monday was asked if he believes he is coaching for his job.

The First Read: Unconventional midseason awards; plus, MVP rankings and Week 10's must-see game
In this edition of The First Read, Jeffri Chadiha hands out 10 unconventional awards at the midpoint of the 2023 NFL season. Plus, a look at who's rising/sliding, a shake-up in the MVP race and a glance ahead at the must-see game of Week 10.