There are always moments to learn in life.
After Sunday’s game, there are more questions than answers.
And there were plenty of questions for Broncos head coach Sean Payton.
“There are a handful of things that jump out at you,” Payton told the Denver media on Monday. “That critical moment in the game where we’re able to hold them on fourth down. Offensively, we have the penalty, and we end up kicking a field goal. Right at that critical juncture of the game, we ended up scoring three, and they still ended up scoring 14 more points. The three offensive turnovers all led to touchdowns, that’s 21 points. Typically speaking, when you see a score that high, you know the one thing that had to exist was turnovers. All three of them led to points for Miami.
“We did a poor job of setting the edge on our defense. They got to the edge early on and often with their toss series and their outside crack series. We struggled taking away some of the things we knew he liked to throw, which was the interior portions of the field. Offensively, we had two touchdowns called back because of penalties. Those are all things that when you look at the tape jump out at you.”
As it stands, Denver is 0-3.
The defense is terrible.
The struggles in the second half continue.
In other words, a mess.
Here’s what Payton said about what he’s learned through the first three games:
“We are learning as we go. I think No. 1, the attention to detail of what we are doing at practice has to improve. We as coaches have to look closely as to what we are asking them to do. This is one of those weeks where when you take a butt whooping like that, you find out a lot about everyone. It’s a tough film to watch. I debated whether we were going to show it or not, but I think we would be remiss if we didn’t.
“We have to sit here today—as unpleasant as it’s going to be — we have to get these things cleaned up. We played a good offense, but we certainly didn’t help ourselves in any way, shape or form in playing them. I was impressed with the special teams, and not just with (Marin Mims’) touchdown return. That was well blocked, but overall, we felt like we had won that aspect of the game. That was the one bright spot.”
One of the biggest issues for the Broncos defense is the tackling.
Denver had 24 missed tackles on Sunday. There is no greater example of effort than tackling.
“I think it’s a byproduct of a couple things: leverage, speed,” Payton said. “When you’re a half-step behind — we haven’t even talked about causing turnovers. When you’re a half-step behind, the last thing you’re thinking about is stripping the ball carrier. You’re thinking about just getting them down. It felt like with each run — it felt that way when we watched the game live and then watching the tape this morning.
“There were a number of them. They were nine or 10 yards, but a tackle away from it being a 30-yard touchdown. When you’re a half-step or a half-gap behind, you’re going to be more arms and not in control. Your balance—you’re not in a position to tackle properly.”
Three games in, the Broncos are not where most thought they would be.
We’ll see where Denver goes from here heading into Week 4 against the Chicago Bears.
“I think that you lean on your leadership,” Payton told the media. “One can’t become two, (and two) can’t become three. If we allow that to happen, then we’re missing some of the things that we’re talking about right now. That was one of the things I brought up yesterday after the game, and again this morning. You lose that game, and you lose it. It’s worth a loss. Now, you have to pay attention to how poor it was. You can’t ignore that or gloss over that. Then you go from there. We’ll pick ourselves up here this week and get ready to play next weekend.”