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Loss to Texans a wakeup call for Broncos

All good things have to come to an end. Where do the Denver Broncos go from here?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Close, but no cigar.

“It was a loss that reset focus for the Broncos going forward in that Super Bowl run.”

In last week’s Something Something Broncos, Mike DeCicco looked back at the 1998 Broncos and their unbeaten streak that was ruined at the Meadowlands by the New York Giants and further tracked on the carpet against the Miami Dolphins the following week.

Could it be that Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans serves as the same sort of catalyst for Broncos-brand renewed focus for the rest of the season? With 5-games to go in the season, Denver’s future is very much up to them. While unthinkable at the beginning of the season, there is a prime opportunity to close out the season with another impressive win-streak. A guy can dream, can’t he?

With the Chargers twice, the Lions, Patriots, and Raiders still on the schedule, Denver has a legitimate shot at the playoffs if they can play some of their best ball to finish the season. Sure, the loss to the Texans stung. All the pimples and blemishes we thought were covered and hidden from view are now back out on full proud display. That may not necessarily be a bad thing.

Losing against Houston showed the Broncos areas that need improvement. This loss could be the springboard the Broncos needed to sneak into the playoffs.

Who knows? Maybe Denver could make a little noise if they can actually pull it off.

HEADLINES

After weeks of living on the edge, the Broncos died on it in Houston - Denver Sports
The success equation of the Broncos rests on sustaining drives and winning the turnover margin. They did neither in Houston -- and fell.

Denver Broncos defense misses out on turnovers in loss | Denver Broncos | denvergazette.com
The Broncos' offense needed to step up as the defense couldn't force a turnover against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Denver's offense did not step up.

Denver fans in Houston chant "let's go Broncos" as game against Texans sets to kick off - CBS Colorado
The fans broke out into a "let's go Broncos" chant while donning orange jerseys to show their support for Denver in the game that could help contribute to a Broncos playoff berth.

‘We didn’t play our best football’: Broncos’ late-game heroics fall short as Denver drops 22-17 decision to Texans
“It’s frustrating of course, but I still know that we have a lot of heart and a lot of confidence in this locker room, and guys know we can go out and compete with anybody,” wide receiver Courtland Sutton said.

Texans top Broncos on late INT, lose Tank Dell to injury | Reuters
Jimmie Ward picked off Russell Wilson in the end zone with nine seconds remaining and the host Houston Texans escaped with a 22-17 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday at NRG Stadium.

Russell Wilson becomes first Denver Broncos QB since 2014 to throw at least 1 TD pass in first 12 games - CBS Colorado
Denver Broncos Quarterback Russell Wilson became the first Bronco in almost a decade to throw at least one touchdown pass in each of the first 12 games of the season. The last Bronco QB to achieve that was Peyton Manning in 2014.

Sources - Texans WR Tank Dell (fractured fibula) out for season - ESPN
The Texans suffered a blow to their receiving corps as wide receiver Tank Dell suffered a season-ending fractured fibula, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Rhamondre Stevenson dealing with ankle sprain, X-rays negative - NBC Sports
It might be difficult for one of New England's most effective offensive players to be on the field in Week 14.

Isiah Pacheco ejected for throwing a punch late in fourth quarter - NBC Sports
Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco was ejected late in Sunday night's 27-19 loss to the Packers.

NFL Playoff Picture 2023: Updated AFC and NFC Standings, Clinching Scenarios for Week 13 - NBC Sports
The Packers are now in playoff position, with Sunday night's win over the Chiefs moving Green Bay's record to 6-6 and giving them the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC.

Dolphins' win over Commanders finishes with final score that's never been seen before in NFL history - CBSSports.com
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a scorigami!

Eagles no longer NFC's most dominant team after defense dismantled by 49ers
Philadelphia gashed by the 49ers' offense during Sunday's 42-19 defeat. While the Eagles still own the NFC's best record, Sunday's outcome made clear they are no longer the conference's top team, Judy Battista writes.

NFL stats and records, Week 13: Dolphins players dominate; WR Puka Nacua makes Rams history
NFL Research offers the best nuggets from each week of games in the NFL. Here are the most eye-popping statistical accomplishments from Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season.

Steelers QB Kenny Pickett expected to miss Week 14, potentially more time with ankle injury suffered vs. Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett suffered a ankle injury in Sunday's Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He is expected to miss Week 14 against the New England Patriots and potentially more time, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans hits 1,000-yard milestone for decade straight to start career
Mike Evans surpassed 1,000 yards for the season in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 21-18 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, marking the 10th straight year to start his career in which he’s hit the benchmark.

Jordan Love beats blitzes, Chiefs in masterful effort for Packers - ESPN
Jordan Love wasn't about to let history repeat itself: After his first NFL start against the Chiefs in 2021 ended in disaster, the Packers QB put together a masterful performance Sunday night that did wonders for Green Bay's playoff hopes.

Kansas City Chiefs bemoan final moments of loss in Green Bay - ESPN
Amid controversy in the closing moments, quarterback Patrick Mahomes couldn't rally the Chiefs past the Packers on Sunday night at Lambeau Field, dropping a 27-19 decision for Kansas City's third defeat in its past five games.

49ers' Dre Greenlaw, Eagles security head ejected after scuffle - ESPN
Niners linebacker Dre Greenlaw was ejected from Sunday's game in Philadelphia following a sideline fracas with Eagles head of security Dom DiSandro, who was also tossed.

Jets mull change to fourth starting QB after Tim Boyle struggles - ESPN
Jets coach Robert Saleh is weighing yet another quarterback change after Tim Boyle struggled in a 13-8 loss to Atlanta for New York's fifth straight defeat.

Eagles' Dom DiSandro could face additional NFL discipline for scuffle with 49ers' Dre Greenlaw, per report - CBSSports.com
The security chief was escorted out of Sunday's game

2023 NFL season, Week 13: What We Learned from Sunday's games
The Dolphins, Saints and Texans were among the victors to emerge from the early window Sunday in Week 13.