The Denver Broncos are still searching for the "perfect" game under head coach Sean Payton, a totally clean game with execution in all phases, but their Week 12 victory at home over the Cleveland Browns is arguably their most impressive victory all season. And there is a lot of credit to be given out to both players and coaches.
Although the Broncos were collectively winners against the Browns, there are some individual performances that need to be highlighted and properly recognized. There is also one area that needs to be called out, and it's not going to be pretty.
Who were the biggest winners for the Broncos against the Cleveland Browns in Week 12, and who was the biggest loser?
1. Sean Payton - winner
There's no question about it -- Sean Payton has to be one of the biggest winners not only of this game against the Cleveland Browns but of the 2023 NFL season. Payton is on his way to potentially being named NFL Coach of the Year with the job he's done in Denver so far, and his brilliance was on display early and often in this game against the Browns.
The game plan was so good against Cleveland's number one defense that Russell Wilson was able to call audibles at the line of scrimmage and the running game feasted against one of the fastest, toughest defensive fronts in the NFL. The advantage the Broncos gained early on in this game was a clear indicator of outstanding film study, coaching, and preparation. Those things simply haven't existed in Denver in recent years.
2. Vance Joseph - winner
Over their last six games, the Denver Broncos have allowed 16.5 points per game defensively. That includes a 19-9 loss back in Week 6 on Thursday night against the Chiefs.
At this point, you can actually say the Denver Broncos' defense has been dominant for the "majority" of the season, which seems impossible considering this is the same team that gave up 70 points to the Dolphins earlier in the year. Except, it's not the same team. The Broncos got rid of some bad apples, changed personnel, and they've become an outstanding defense which is forcing turnovers at an incredibly high rate.
Vance Joseph is putting his players in position to succeed and he deserves a ton of credit.