This is how Sean Payton will write his new second-half play script

Dec 8, 2023, 8:15 PM

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Earlier this week, Broncos coach Sean Payton discussed the notion of scripting the first few plays of the second half as a response to the team’s poor performance on drives right after halftime.

He plans on doing just that.

But he hasn’t written the second-half script yet. For that matter …

“I haven’t scripted the first half,” he said with a laugh during his press conference at Centura Health Training Center on Friday afternoon.

Payton’s methodology involves working up the script — or “opener,” as it’s often called — after the bulk of the on-field preparation is complete.

“So, here’s what I normally do: I normally script the first 15 (plays) Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon — you know, obviously before the meetings, and then we go through the meetings,” he explained.

And Sean Payton won’t script the start of the second half until halftime Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

“I’m not gonna script the second half before the game starts, though,” he said. “I’ll put five or six plays together at halftime.

“And then have my banana and go pee.”


It starts with this: The Broncos have been spectacularly unsuccessful coming out for the second half — and specifically, when they have the first possession after halftime.

Their only score on the first series after halftime came in Week 7 against Green Bay — one of two games in which the Broncos did not receive the second-half kickoff. After a Packers possession, Russell Wilson and the Broncos marched 75 yards in 7 plays to a touchdown.

The Broncos had the opening second-half possession in 10 of their first dozen games this season. They have zero points from those 10 series. Eight of those drives ended in punts; the other two ended in failed Wil Lutz field-goal attempts — one missed, one blocked.

The results of their opening second-half series:

  • Week 1, Las Vegas: 10 plays, 37 yards, 3 first downs, missed field goal
  • Week 2, Washington: 3 plays, minus-11 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • Week 3, at Miami: 4 plays, 17 yards, 1 first down, punt
  • Week 4, at Chicago: 3 plays, 4 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • Week 5, N.Y. Jets: 3 plays, 4 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • Week 6, at Kansas City (Chiefs received second-half kickoff): 6 plays, 47 yards, 3 first downs, interception
  • Week 7, Green Bay (Packers received second-half kickoff): 7 plays, 75 yards, 4 first downs, touchdown
  • Week 8, Kansas City: 13 plays, 55 yards, 4 first downs, blocked field goal
  • Week 10, at Buffalo: 3 plays, minus-2 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • Week 11, Minnesota: 3 plays, minus-8 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • Week 12, Cleveland: 3 plays, 6 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • Week 13, at Houston: 3 plays, minus-6 yards, 0 first downs, punt

No wonder Payton is trying something new.



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This is how Sean Payton will write his new second-half play script