Where there is smoke, there is fire. And social media has definitely been full of fires as of late in the Broncos community following an embarrassing Week 15 loss in which Denver was boat raced 42-17 en route to their seventh loss of the season. Most notably through all the drama in the loss, head coach Sean Payton was caught by NFL Network's camera crew chewing out quarterback Russell Wilson on the sidelines following a sequence of "failed" attempts to get into the end zone at the goal line.
Many critics are accusing Sean Payton for "wrongfully" screaming at Russell Wilson on the sidelines without realizing the full context. After the Broncos scored on two straight plays with running backs Jaleel McLaughlin and Javonte Williams, Russell Wilson hurried his offense to the line of scrimmage to run a play which led to an offsides penalty on right guard Quinn Meinerz. As a result, a drive that should have ended in a touchdown and put the Broncos back within two possessions of the lead, ended up resulting in just three points.
Payton, who claimed in his postgame press conference that he was "upset by the call", which is true, would not tell the full story. In fact, he responded to a reporter's question in regards to his sideline interaction with "What I talk with Russell about is none of your business." In reality, Payton does not want to make a bigger issue out of the situation with the media, especially considering the last thing the Denver Broncos need in midst of a tight playoff push is a loud distraction.
For anyone claiming that Sean Payton "hates" or "strongly dislikes" Russell Wilson, they are completely making up false accusations as an outsider looking in. This situation was simply an altercation on the sidelines that of course happened to be caught on primetime live television. Payton wanted more time to review whether or not to challenge the play made at the goal line by Javonte Williams however, Wilson was situationally unaware and hurried up his offense to try to get into the end zone.
Wilson is deserving of the benefit of the doubt because the plays he did decide to run in a hurry up resulted in touchdowns however, the NFL referees simply made horrible calls on three consecutive plays. Instead, the Denver Broncos had to settle for a field goal and this essentially felt like the breaking point for the team in their defeat.
As for Payton yelling at Wilson in the first place, this is the game of football and these situations are warranted. Wilson is well aware of Payton's competitive nature and even acknowledged that in his postgame press conference: "You want a coach that's passionate." Wilson knew the personality of Payton before he was hired and it is a big reason why he advocated for the Broncos to acquire the Super Bowl winning head coach. He wants to be held accountable in times of error. It forces growth.
Regardless of the reason for why Payton yelled at Russell Wilson, they both seem to be in agreement that it was warranted at the time and that it does not signify any type of distaste for one another. Football is a very competitive and chippy sport. I think Payton had a good reason to be upset with Wilson as opposed to the millions of fans viewing the game from a biased perspective without knowing the context.