BRONCOS

Payton not pleased Singleton let a rookie bait him into personal foul

Dec 4, 2023, 12:50 PM | Updated: 3:19 pm

Denver Broncos linebacker Alex Singleton got a huge personal foul penalty against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

It was one that cost the Broncos a touchdown instead of a field goal, and four valuable points they could’ve used at the end of the game.

In a 22-17 loss they would’ve been looking at a kick to win the game, as opposed to needing a touchdown. QB Russell Wilson threw an interception in the end zone in the final seconds.

Here’s a look at the play where Singleton shoved Texans QB C.J. Stroud.

Rather than force Houston to settle for three points on fourth-and-seven late in the first quarter, Singleton’s decision offset a false start by the Texans and created first-and-goal from the three-yard line. They would score two plays later to go up 10-0 as opposed to 6-0.

During a conference call with reporters on Monday, Broncos head coach Sean Payton singled out this moment as a big one. It ultimately helped snap Denver’s five-game winning streak.

“Defensively, we’re off the field in a red zone situation, and 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,” Payton said.

And the coach is right. Singleton can’t let Stroud get under his skin, because NFL officials are always going to side with the quarterback. Even if Stroud head-butted Singleton, that flag is never going to go in the opposite direction.

Singleton spoke briefly on the moment after the game, and said as much.

“They’re gonna call it on the quarterback. You know how this league is,” Singleton said.

He also acknowledged that “just don’t push him,” would’ve been the better strategy.

It certainly might have been a different game if the Texans only go up 6-0, but the Broncos still made plenty of other mistakes. Although the fact Payton went out of his way to point it out shows he’s not real pleased with Singleton.

The 6-6 Broncos are now the No. 9 seed in the AFC, rather than tied with the Steelers, Browns and Colts at 7-5.

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Payton not pleased Singleton let a rookie bait him into personal foul