BRONCOS

Spicy Sean Payton discusses bizarre sequence, yelling at his QB

Dec 16, 2023, 9:49 PM | Updated: 10:09 pm

The Denver Broncos and head coach Sean Payton lost to the Detroit Lions 42-17 on Saturday night.

It’s a defeat that hindered Denver’s playoff hopes significantly, and they’re now 7-7 on the season in a crowded AFC. They’ll likely have to win out to make the postseason, and even that might not be enough.

The biggest moment in the game came with the Broncos down 28-7 in the third quarter and trying to get back into things. It looked like they scored three separate touchdowns, but none of them counted. It ended with a heated moment.

The sequence of events was frustrating for the Broncos and one that set social media ablaze. A lot of people had many questions.

On second-down, it looked like running back Jaleel McLaughlin caught a pass from Russell Wilson and broke the plane of the end zone. The line judge ruled him short, and Payton didn’t challenge.

On third-down, it appeared running back Javonte Williams got past the goal-line, but again the same referee marked him short and the Broncos didn’t throw the red flag.

On fourth-down, Denver was called for offensive offsides, despite fullback Michael Burton scoring a touchdown. A replay clearly showed no one was across the football, and fans were perplexed. It was an awful flag.

Then, cameras caught Payton yelling at Wilson on the sideline. The whole series of plays was bizarre, and Payton fielded questions about it postgame.

First, Payton was asked about not challenging the McLaughlin and Williams plays.

“They were close. The problem there is we’re right at that… you know, when you start challenging spots, it becomes difficult. So, the frustrating part of the sequence was the next run. So, we’ll leave it at that,” Payton said.

When the reporter followed up, Payton got spicy.

“No, I said the frustrating part of the sequence was the next play to Burton where we scored,” Payton said.

Clearly he was unhappy offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz was called offsides when he wasn’t. Another media member then asked about the interaction with Wilson and if Payton was mad at him for maybe not taking enough time to look at the play and challenge.

“No, I was upset at the call,” Payton said.

And one final follow up was also shot down, this time with some anger.

“Listen, what I talk with Russell about is none of your business,” Payton said.

It’s no doubt the story of the game. Yes, the Broncos got crushed, but had they made it 28-14 who knows what happens. Instead, they settled for a field goal, the Lions scored a touchdown their next drive, and it was over.

Whether or not Payton is to be believed will be a topic of discussion in the coming days, but for now, there might be some tension between the quarterback and head coach.

The only thing that will fix that is winning. And Denver better take their last three games, or this amazing comeback will fall short of the postseason.

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