After a 1-5 start to begin the 2023 NFL Season, many in the NFL landscape sold their stock on Russell Wilson and Sean Payton. Well, the Broncos turnaround since then has been nothing short of outstanding. I think the two most notable Denver Broncos might be due for some apologies.
There was a ton of attention directed the Broncos' way when the news broke that Sean Payton was headed to Denver. Many said that Payton didn't actually want to work with Wilson and that their personalities would not jive with each other. Turns out, Payton did and still does want to work with Wilson (at least it seems that way) and their relationship seems to be strong.
In fact, this was an interaction between the two in Week 14 versus the LA Chargers:
I think it's pretty clear that the two men are working well with each other, and I think after the team's 1-5 start, there were valid questions about each and their futures in the NFL. Was Russell Wilson all but done in the NFL as a starter? Was Sean Payton propped up as a head coach by Drew Brees? It was especially brutal for Payton after the team lost to the New York Jets.
Payton's well-known comments in USA Today were highly-covered and some even said that they were totally inappropriate and out of bounds. Well, over the last seven games, I think both men have totally changed the trajectory of their own careers and the entire direction of the Denver Broncos.
Now at 7-6, the Denver Broncos have a very good shot at making the postseason and ending their seven-year playoff drought, which is the second-longest in the NFL. Wilson is also getting a bit more attention for his improved play in 2023. He's got 23 passing touchdowns and a 98.3 passer rating this year.
Wilson is top-10 in a few QB categories and is truly playing well. I think at this point, those who aggressively wrote off Sean Payton, Russell Wilson, and the Denver Broncos should get their apologies ready.