Colin Cowherd Blasts Russell Wilson After Broncos’ 0-2 Start: ‘Major Turbulence’

Russell Wilson and Sean Payton

Getty Broncos QB Russell Wilson talks to head coach Sean Payton during a timeout.

According to one prominent talking head, the Denver Broncos might have “major turbulence” on their hands with a quarterback who “looks like he’s 39.”

Following Denver’s Week 2 loss to the Washington Commanders, Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd gave his take on Russell Wilson.

He started by saying that Wilson is playing like a much older QB than he is.

“Russell Wilson is 34 and he looks like he’s 39,” Cowherd said on his Volume Sports podcast. “He does not have the juice he had previously. I don’t know if some of it’s confidence, emotional, no major surgeries. [He’s] 34, he plays much, much older than his age.”

Despite nearly pulling off a miracle comeback at the end of the game, Wilson and the Broncos lost on a controversial no-call on their two-point attempt to tie the game.

Since the Broncos traded for Wilson in March 2022, the QB has gone only 4-13 as a starter in Denver. The team’s struggles in that span have been well-documented.

Cowherd continued by addressing that Denver will face significant issues, and he questioned the pairing of Wilson and first-year head coach Sean Payton.

“I think they’re headed for major turbulence in Denver. This is a massively punitive contract to the Broncos with a coach and a quarterback with completely different personalities. This is only going to get worse.”

Cowherd Blasted ‘Off-Script’ Wilson Again on His Show

On the September 18 episode of “The Herd,” Cowherd acknowledged that Payton’s coaching has improved the Broncos, despite their Week 2 loss to Washington.

“Clearly the coaching’s better. How do I know? Because on scripted plays, they scored more points yesterday than they did all of last year. On scripted first-half plays, you can see it, the Broncos are plus-10 point differential. That’s top-seven in the NFL.”

He then blasted Wilson for going “off-script” and underperforming in the second half, which he believes has led to Denver’s offensive issues.

“The issue is, you pay these quarterbacks 40 to $50 million a year for the second half. A lot of guys are good in the first half … There’s only so much Sean Payton can do. There’s no mojo, it’s gone! Russell Wilson is following the script, but once he’s off-script, it’s TROUBLE!”

Through two games in 2023, Wilson has completed 85% of his passes for four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 149.3 passer rating in the first half.

Cowherd stated that Wilson “falls off a cliff in the second half,” based on the signal caller having a 56.4 completion percentage, one TD, a pick and a 69.0 passer rating.

Former NFL Head Coach Shares Thoughts on Wilson & Payton Pairing

Not every pundit has been down about the pairing of Wilson and Payton in 2023.

According to former head coach Rex Ryan on the September 18 episode of ESPN’s “First Take,” the duo has been working so far this season.

“We’re all looking like how come this marriage, Sean Payton and Russell Wilson, doesn’t seem to be clicking? Well, it is clicking. This team has averaged more points per possession than any offensive unit in the National Football League.”

In Week 2, Wilson threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns against the Commanders. He was also Denver’s leading rusher with 56 yards on six carries.

Ryan decided to pin the blame on another culprit following the Broncos’ 0-2 start.

“Last week, they only had six possessions. So whose fault is that on? It’s on their defense. Their defense was supposed to be number one in the league if I was going to be the coordinator.”

Denver’s defense blew a 21-3 lead and gave up 21 points in the second half. Those struggles allowed Washington to escape with a 35-33 win.

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