Broncos offense goes dormant, Russell Wilson scores twice in loss to Chiefs


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With just a week to prepare and facing Kansas City as a double-digit underdog on national television, Broncos head coach Sean Payton outlined their path to an upset.

“If I gave you Sunday’s halftime lead, then Sunday’s regular-time games — (who) won at halftime and who won the game — would probably be in the 60-plus percentile,” he said said Tuesday. “What’s unusual is that it spikes on Thursday night. I just finished talking about the jump start.

“this point is very important.”

The only problem: His offense wasn’t informed.

Payton’s team was shut out in the fourth quarter, with quarterback Russell Wilson’s performance oscillating between disjointed and disastrous, and the Broncos lost their 16th straight game to the Chiefs to open the season with a 1-5.

This version is the same old story: 19-8.

“To win in this league, you have to throw the ball better,” said Payton, who believes the wind will affect the kicking game but not the quarterback. Wilson was 13 of 22 for 95 yards.

Perhaps the only surprise was Wilson and the offense scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter, capped off by an 11-yard touchdown reception by Courtland Sutton. The Broncos tied the game with 6:07 left when Javonte Williams scored a two-pointer.

For much of the game, Denver’s offense looked like it couldn’t score or even threaten to score.

Wilson threw two interceptions and threw for just 57 yards on his first 14 pass attempts. He was fired four times. The Broncos have been running the ball effectively, as has been the case early in the season.

Unlike Denver’s run away from a halftime lead in three home games, the Broncos didn’t lead for a second this time.

The offense’s playlist starts like this: a turnover, an interception, four consecutive punts, an interception, and then another punt. No one in the front six generated more than two first downs or covered more than 34 yards. Of those drives, there were two through the air, but neither a 15-yard screen to running back Samaje Perine nor a 13-yard pass to Jerry Jeudy out of the backfield. Over 15 yards. The seventh drive yielded three first downs and 43 yards before Wilson’s pass was tipped down and intercepted.

For more than 53 minutes, the Broncos kept referencing all kinds of questionable history.

They lost to the Chiefs in a lot of ways, but they scored at least one point each time during the NFL’s longest losing streak. In fact, they haven’t been shut out by Kansas City since a 16-0 decision in 1970, the first year after the merger and the first year these teams shared the AFC West as a division. One year.

Not only that, Payton was never shut out in his first 246 games as head coach. Wilson? Appeared only once in over 11 seasons.

It all worked until the final touchdown.

To make matters worse, this lackluster offensive performance came as the Broncos’ defense finally had a spirited night after enduring one of the worst five-game starts in NFL history.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and company got into the red zone on their first three drives, but it ended with a field goal, a fake field goal and a Justin Simmons interception.

“No. 1. We trust technology. This is not a brand new combination,” Payton said. “… Overall, I thought we did a good job of applying pressure and then forcing the clock in (Mahomes’s) head to go pretty fast.”

The Chiefs eventually scored a touchdown on a short pass from Mahomes to Kadarius Toney, but even then, Vance Joseph’s team got a stop on the drive with two minutes to play, giving Wilson and Denver’s offense Another chance to lead 10-0. Intermission.

However, the drive that began with 47 seconds left in the half required a pass. And the Broncos were unable to do that in the first half Thursday night.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) rushes past Denver Broncos defensive end Zach Allen during the first half on October 12, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. Zach Allen, 99). The Kansas City Chiefs will face the Denver Broncos in Week 6 of the NFL season at GEHA Stadium in Arrowhead, Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

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