Sean Payton: Broncos offense 'not good enough'

As the Broncos move toward the conclusion of their first season with Sean Payton as head coach, all eyes and ears will remain on the question of whether the team will keep quarterback Russell Wilson until March 2024, when another $37 million cap hit becomes fully guaranteed.

Wilson Evade the question About his future after the Christmas Eve loss to the Patriots. While Payton was not asked about it directly by reporters Tuesday, the question about the consistency of the offense prompted a reaction that could be viewed as ominous.

“A lot of times, when we look at some of these things, they are self-inflicted problems,” Payton said. “That has to be cleaned up. That's the communication. It may be necessary to reduce that – is there too much of it? Right now, we're average to below average in a lot of things offensively, and that's not good enough.”

Since Wilson is the straw that stirs the drink, the fact that the drink is not being stirred to the satisfaction of the head bartender makes it a problem. Especially since there are only two chances left to “clean up” things.

“I think the ongoing step is understanding how not to lose games before you learn how to win them,” Payton later said. “Two-thirds of the games we watch every weekend are lost before they are won. We are still learning that the hard way.

Only Payton knows who he thinks is responsible for this. But, again, the quarterback is the guy who gets it all done. Right now, the focus is on getting a win in the final home game of the season, against the Chargers, and then worrying about the question of whether they can make the playoffs.

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“We didn't play well at home, or at least to the expectations of Broncos fans and then from my experience playing at home,” Payton said.

The team's plans for Wilson likely won't be known until after the season. However, if the Broncos lose at home to the Chargers and end up getting eliminated before the Week 18 visit to the Raiders, the immediate question becomes whether Payton will decide to give Jarrett Stidham a chance to see what he can do on offense. Whatever the explanation, it could be interpreted as a move to ensure Wilson doesn't sit out the final game with an injury that would prevent the Broncos from tearing up Wilson's contract before the next $37 million Jackets.

That's exactly what the Raiders did last year with Derek Carr – giving Stidham a chance to play the final two games of the year and preserving the Raiders' ability to make a difference at the position that lies at the heart of every offense in the NFL.

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