ESPN personality and former NFL punter Pat McAfee complimented Denver for the upset win over their AFC West rival. McAfee said the Broncos “could propel this win” on the October 30 episode of “The Pat McAfee Show.”
“We all thought maybe Sean Payton would have to move on from Russ. But maybe, Sean Payton and Russ are the perfect match over there.”
With back-to-back wins, the Broncos are sitting at 3-5 under Payton in his first season with the team. Quarterback Russell Wilson has improved statistically under Payton’s coaching.
Wilson threw three touchdown passes against the Chiefs. Through eight games, the Broncos quarterback has three games with at least three touchdowns. For reference, Wilson had one such game in 2022 under former head coach Nathaniel Hackett before his Week 16 firing.
Cohost Ty Schmit was especially complimentary of Denver’s defense than he was Wilson.
“You watch these games, it has been the defense up to this point. Russ hasn’t been playing great, but I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s the reason they’ve been losing these games,” said Schmit.
McAfee chimed in, adding the Broncos could turn the win into “something special to begin the Sean Payton era officially in Week 8.”
Dan Patrick Discusses Whether Broncos Have Found a Winning Formula
Patrick did not expect to be talking about the Broncos beating the Chiefs on the October 30 episode of “The Dan Patrick Show.”
“When you look at the NFL from week to week and you go, okay, this is a Broncos defense that gave up 70 points to the Dolphins. They hold the Chiefs to nine. That’s the beauty and kind of misery of the NFL,” said Patrick.
The Broncos found a balance on offense in Week 8 to take the pressure off Wilson. Patrick wondered aloud whether Payton is managing Denver’s offense like Pete Carroll did with the Seattle Seahawks. The radio personality said the Seahawks with Wilson “were very successful” running the offense how Carroll preferred.
“Feels like Sean Payton would like to bring that back. He would like to have his running backs carry the football 35 times or in this case, 40 times and play good defense. And that’s what you saw yesterday.”
Running backs Javonte Williams and Jaleel McLaughlin combined for 31 carries for 118 yards against the Chiefs. In total, the Broncos had 153 yards on the ground. Wilson only had 19 passing attempts in the game.
Patrick alluded that taking the ball out of Wilson’s hands might be for the better.
“When they let Russ cook in Seattle and also in Denver, it didn’t go as well,” Patrick stated.
Javonte Williams Breaks Down Week 8 Performance: ‘I Just Felt Like We Dominated That Game’
The Broncos beat the defending Super Bowl champions because of their dominant running game.
Williams played a significant role in the upset win, carrying the ball 27 times for 85 yards. Denver ran 24 times in the second half. The third-year running back said the ground game helped his team pull away after halftime.
“I just felt like we dominated that game,” Williams said to reporters on October 30. “When you can run the ball at the end of the game, that means you’re doing something good.”
Williams’ 27 carries were a season-high. The North Carolina product appears fully healed after tearing his ACL in Week 4 of the 2022 season.
One reporter asked Williams whether he had confidence in Denver making a surprise playoff run. His response would challenge the faith of even the most optimistic Broncos fan.
“If the defense do their job, the offense do their job, we got Marvin Mims back there on special teams, so, I feel like everybody’s doing their job. Yeah, I feel like the playoffs — that’s just the bare minimum, though. We trying to make a Super Bowl run,” said Williams.
Williams is searching for his first rushing touchdown since Week 16 of his rookie season during the 2021 campaign.