Broncos QB Russell Wilson faces criticism after loss to Lions

The Denver Broncos suffered a humiliating 42-17 defeat to the Detroit Lions on Saturday night, raising questions about the performance of quarterback Russell Wilson and his relationship with coach Sean Payton.

Wilson struggles to find rhythm against Lions

Wilson, who was acquired by the Broncos in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks in March, had a disappointing game against the Lions, completing 18 of 32 passes for 223 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for a touchdown, but was sacked four times and fumbled once.

The Broncos offense failed to keep pace with the Lions, who scored on their first six possessions and led 35-10 at halftime. Wilson and his receivers could not connect on several deep passes, and the running game was largely ineffective.

Wilson admitted that he and the offense were frustrated by their lack of execution. He said that the Lions defense did a good job of disguising their coverages and applying pressure.

Broncos QB Russell Wilson faces criticism after loss to Lions

“We didn’t play our best football tonight,” Wilson said. “We have to be better. We have to be more consistent. We have to make the plays when they’re there.”

Payton yells at Wilson on sideline

One of the most notable moments of the game came in the third quarter, when Payton was seen screaming at Wilson on the sideline after the Broncos settled for a field goal. The Broncos had run three plays that all appeared to be touchdowns, but two were ruled down short of the end zone and the third was nullified by a penalty.

Payton insisted that he was not angry at Wilson, but rather at the offside penalty that wiped out the touchdown. He said that he did not challenge the spot on the previous plays because it was difficult to overturn.

“What I talk to Russell about is none of your business,” Payton said curtly to a reporter who asked him about the incident.

Wilson also downplayed the confrontation, saying that he and Payton were both passionate and wanted to score. He said that he did not think that Payton had lost trust or faith in him as a quarterback.

“I think the biggest thing is, we’re trying to score a touchdown there,” Wilson said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t. I think, more than anything else, we were just frustrated we didn’t score there.”

Wilson’s future with Broncos uncertain

The loss to the Lions dropped the Broncos to 7-7, one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. The Broncos have not made the playoffs since the 2015 season, when they won the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning as their quarterback.

Wilson, who signed a four-year, $140 million contract extension with the Seahawks in 2019, was traded to the Broncos along with a 2023 seventh-round pick in exchange for three first-round picks, a second-round pick, and quarterback Drew Lock. The trade was seen as a win-win for both teams, as Wilson wanted a fresh start and the Broncos needed a franchise quarterback.

However, Wilson has not lived up to the expectations in Denver, as he has thrown for 3,211 yards, 21 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, with a passer rating of 86.4. He has also been sacked 38 times, the second-most in the league.

Some fans and pundits have speculated that Wilson and Payton are not on the same page, and that the Broncos might consider moving on from Wilson after the season. However, Wilson has said that he is happy in Denver and wants to finish his career there.

“I love being here,” Wilson said. “I love the city, I love the fans, I love the organization. I want to win here. I want to bring championships here. That’s my goal.”

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