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Sean Payton: ‘We let a rookie bait us into a personal foul’

Head Coach Sean Payton did not seem thrilled about the personal foul penalty when speaking to the media today.

Denver Broncos v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Broncos head coach Sean Payton met with the media today and discussed Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to the Houston Texans. One of the topics that came up was the costly personal foul on Alex Singleton in the first quarter. The veteran linebacker got into a shoving match after the play with Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. This altercation between the two led to a flag being thrown on Singleton and turning a fourth down and a field goal attempt into first and goal and an eventual touchdown.

Payton spoke on this and told reporters that “we let a rookie bait us into a personal foul”.

Payton was rightfully upset at his veteran linebacker and basically called him out in the media. It was a costly penalty that cost the Broncos four points in what ended up being a five-point loss. Now, there’s dirt on a lot of hands for this loss, but this mistake was one of the more costly ones to happen in the game.

“We let a rookie bait us into a personal foul. That’s four points. Instead of finishing that game needing a touchdown, we’re kicking a field goal to win.”

After the game, Singleton spoke with the media and was asked about his thoughts on the flag and he told reporters: “Nothing. I mean, just don’t push him.”. He continued by saying “They’re gonna call it on the quarterback. You know how this league is?”.

Singleton is right, he shouldn’t have pushed Stroud, and the league is always going to side with the quarterback in these situations. Did Stroud get into his face and look equally as guilty? Sure, but as a veteran he needs to be smarter and not get himself in that position, especially when he knows the league is always going to side with the quarterback. Add in just awareness of it being fourth down. You made the key stop, you held them to a field goal attempt, go celebrate with your teammates, and get off the field. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the Texans quickly scored a touchdown after this penalty.

This was one of many mistakes in a surprisingly sloppy game by the Broncos but one that Payton highlighted to the media. Singleton needs to be smarter in that situation. He went on to have himself a pretty good overall game but this one huge costly mistake is all that people will remember.