Russell Wilson says start, not end of game doomed Broncos

Dec 24, 2023, 10:27 PM | Updated: Dec 26, 2023, 8:05 am

Rusell Wilson charged down the field, leading the Denver Broncos to back-to-back touchdown drives plus two-pointers to get his team tied at 23 a piece.

Another defensive stop and a penalty gave Denver a final shot at midfield. The Broncos took negative yards on the first down and pushed Denver to a quick three-and-out. The New England Patriots responded and got a game-winning field goal from deep. Wilson says it wasn’t that final three and out that cost the Broncos on Christmas Eve; it was how his offense started the game that doomed Denver Sunday.

The Broncos either started or got into Patriots territory on each of their first four drives, they scored just four points. The first play of the game was a Denver strip sack of Bailey Zappe on the six-yard line. Three rushing plays and a Wilson interception that was overturned upon review to an incompletion later and the Broncos kicked away a golden opportunity. Leaving the ball at the two-yard line New England was backed up quickly punted, but the Broncos couldn’t do anything with a very-short field, going three-and-out and putting from the Pats’ 42.

“We got to score on the first drive, you know, I think that’s the thing we got to be able to get the ball in there,” Wilson said after the game. “Then I think the second drive we get another short field, we didn’t get the score there. I think those things are—you got to make those plays. We have to find ways. We’re battling. You gotta get the ball in the endzone there that will open up the game a little bit early.”

Thanks to another backed-up Pats punt plus a Marvin Mims huge return the Broncos started again in the scoring area and were able to cash. The visitors responded with a field goal. But a drive later, they again got into the plus part of the field only for Javonte Williams to fumble, leading to the teams trading missed field goals to end the half.

“They did a good job stopping the run,” Wilson said of the team’s start. We tried to run it in there a couple of times they stopped it, and that’s what they did there. I think they are coached extremely well. They played hard and we did too.”

The Broncos could’ve been up many more points than 7-3, in multiple ways—but they weren’t.

Of course, New England ripped off 20 points in the third, and the Broncos responded in the fourth to which Wilson touted his teammates’ resolve, but it still ended in a loss to a bad team at home, while being touchdown favorites.

“I’m feeling this loss right now, we feel like we should have won this game,” Wilson said. “I think the best thing that we can do is get up tomorrow and be with our families and then get back to work. We got two games to go and those games mean a lot, just for who we are and our flight and our testament who we are and how we’re going to battle.”


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