Good morning, Broncos Country!
Preseason game No. 1 is in the books for the Denver Broncos.
How you choose to evaluate (or don’t) the loss to the Arizona Cardinals is entirely up to you.
What is nice to see, however, is a competent Denver head coach on the sideline for the first time since Gary Kubiak. Whether that leads to success in the regular season remains to be seen, but it’s a great change.
Seeing that orange Broncos visor, you know the expectations have changed.
As Payton told the media after the game:
“What I told the team, regardless of whether it is a preseason game or a regular season game, you can’t stand losing. Especially in that fashion. We will look at the tape (on Saturday) and there will be a number of things that we will be excited about. There will be a number of things that we have to clean up. We are in a race to do that now that we have an opponent on film against us. We start from there.”
You could see those expectations in real-time with Payton’s decision to keep the offense on the field for a fourth possession. It worked since Russell Wilson and the Broncos capped the drive with a touchdown. The hope is that can serve as a harbinger in the games and weeks ahead.
“We looked at the numbers and we went one more with the offense,” Payton said after the game. “I think defense totals. It was a little easier and then I wanted to, shoot I wanted to score and leave with a good taste in our mouths.”
Payton’s decision played well in the locker room with the players.
As Wilson said to the media after the game:
“I thought it was really good how we responded. After the first drive the ball really started moving, the third drive and fourth drive obviously we finished it off. It was a really great route by Jerry Jeudy. Good job by him just getting open there in a split second. They brought on full pressure and he did a great job winning and getting the touchdown for us and that was big.”
How the regular season plays out is a blank page yet to be written, but it sure is nice to have a competent head coach on the Broncos sideline again.
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