The only available Broncos player who did not see the field?
Backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
That’s because Russell Wilson was on the field for each and every one of the Broncos’ 59 offensive snaps — even late in the game when the outcome was long decided.
That didn’t sit well with at least one Dolphins player: Cornerback Xavien Howard, who was asked about Payton’s decision not to pull Wilson even when Tua Tagovailoa’s day was over.
Miami Dolphins’ Xavien Howard Calls Out Sean Payton
“That was totally disrespectful,” Howard said. “That man did a lot for this game. They’ve got to do better on that side. You can’t be leaving guys like that out there.”
Especially against a Dolphins front that knew the Broncos would be throwing on almost every down in the second half.
Wilson, who turns 35 in November, was hit 12 times and sacked once. One of those hits came courtesy of defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who got a full-speed shot at Wilson’s ribs early in the second half.
Christian Wilkins just destroyed Russell Wilson
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) September 24, 2023
“That was a tough one today,” Wilson said. “… It felt like the game kind of got away from us.”
Wilson was far from the Broncos’ biggest problems on Sunday. In fact, his play was a reason the game wasn’t even more lopsided. He completed 23 of 38 passes for 306 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
On the year, Wilson has completed 65.4% of his passes for six touchdowns and two interceptions and has averaged 7.6 yards per attempt. His passer rating, 99.5, is quite good.
But when your defense allows, on average, more than 40 points per game, those are meaningless stats. The Broncos are 0-3 and will wake up Monday all alone in last place in the AFC.
“It’s a 14-game season,” Wilson said. “That’s what we have to focus on going forward.”
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The Dolphins, meanwhile, are 3-0 with a massive showdown with the Buffalo Bills next weekend.
“I’m excited and really just to have a team like this, man, [it’s] the best roster I’ve been on since I’ve been here,” Howard said.
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