clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sean Payton needs to look at himself before ‘moving on’ from Pats’ loss

A lot of things didn’t go well Sunday night and players are as accountable as anyone for their performance. But the head coach called a terrible game and he should own that.

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images


It’s a day later and I’m still mad about that Christmas Eve loss to the New England Patriots.

The thing is...I never thought the 3-11 Patriots would be a pushover (my one surprise was that Ryland made a 56-yard field goal - who knew?) I’m mostly mad because the problems Sunday night started long before that kick.

And I happen to think they started before kickoff.

Ryan Koenigsburg made a great point in a post-game show about Sean Payton “playing not to lose rather than playing to win.”

He also tweeted during the game that it seemed like Payton was almost trying to put a loss on his QB.

And that’s exactly how it felt. Russell Wilson had his issues, but so much of the playcalling felt like it was designed to highlight Wilson’s weaknesses rather than strengths.

Such the first series, throwing on 3rd and 2 when you know it’s a condensed field in the red zone but then not taking the points with a field goal.

Or continuing to run the ball against the second-best rushing defense in the league, forcing long third-down throws without the Broncos’ No. 1 wide receiver (and also setting up a situation where Wilson will need time and will not have it and then takes a sack or throws incomplete).

Obviously, Wilson’s play is on him. But the coach didn’t help, and I agree 100% with Koenigsberg’s assessment:

I am in a bad mood, so reading into the situation is generally ill-advised and I fully admit I am grasping at conspiracy theories.

But after the coach’s uncalled-for blowup against his quarterback on the sideline last week (for a non-TD that was certainly not Wilson’s fault) and then Payton’s bad play-calling this week, it isn’t hard to imagine that the coach is setting up Wilson to be the fall guy.

Or at least allowing him to take more blame than he should.

Especially when the coach took two timeouts in the Patriots’ final drive, essentially giving them the opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal.

Whatever. I’ll be in a better mood by the end of the week.

Maybe ;)

Broncos/NFL News

Despite getting help from other teams, Broncos' playoff chances are remote after ugly loss to Patriots | Cp-premium |
Other teams keep helping the Broncos, but they’re not helping themselves.

‘This one stings’: Broncos’ furious rally vs. New England not enough in critical 26-23 loss
“We thought that we were going to be able to win that game,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “I thought everybody battled. This meant a lot to us all. It didn’t go our way.”

Antonio Pierce’s Raiders end losing skid vs. Chiefs ‘by any means necessary'
The Raiders ended their six-game losing streak against the rival Chiefs on Monday despite going without an offensive touchdown.

2023 NFL season, Week 16: What We Learned from Christmas tripleheader
Around the NFL breaks down all of the action from three games on Christmas Day, starting with the Raiders' upset of the Chiefs.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has sprained right shoulder, availability for Week 17 unclear
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence suffered a sprained right shoulder in Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday. It’s not believed to be a major injury to his throwing shoulder, but it’s u

NFL 2023 Week 16: Biggest questions, risers and takeaways - ESPN
NFL Nation reporters react to all the action, answering lingering questions coming out of each game. Here's what we learned from Week 16.