The Denver Broncos lost to the Miami Dolphins by 50 points on Sunday, and apparently, some Dolphins players had enough time on the sidelines to make observations the other direction that they didn't particularly like. Specifically, at least one Miami player -- cornerback Xavien Howard -- apparently took issue with the fact that Russell Wilson was out there on the field late in this particular level of a blowout loss.
According to Pro Football Network's Adam Beasley, Howard felt Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton was "disrespectful" for keeping Wilson in the game when the Dolphins were winning by such a wide margin.
The full quote in Beasley's article reads:
"That was totally disrespectful. 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."- Xavien Howard (via PFN)
On the one hand, it's hard to disagree with Howard. Everyone was wondering late in the game why the Broncos didn't throw Jarrett Stidham into the mix for at least a series, or even the final play of the game where Russell Wilson went out there and handed the ball off.
Stidham was the only Broncos player dressed for the game who didn't end up playing a single snap.
In hindsight, it does feel a bit like a message was being sent. But if I take my tinfoil hat off, it probably means nothing...right? Why was Russell Wilson still on the field at the end of this game? Did Sean Payton just want to see his offense out there still executing? Was he not worried about Russ taking unnecessary hits?
If anyone should be getting made an example of, it's Vance Joseph, whose defense allowed 70 points in the game. Russell Wilson played extremely hard and did his part to keep the team in the game for as long as they could be in it (a couple of quarters, almost). Unfortunately, the Broncos had a handful of really untimely miscues and turnovers, starting with a false start by Mike McGlinchey immediately after the Broncos stopped the Dolphins on a 4th-and-inches play in the second quarter.
The offense couldn't recover from it, and the Dolphins made them pay after the Broncos were forced to punt.
But I digress...
Xavien Howard's comments are interesting, to say the least. Where were players in defense of Russell Wilson as he was getting publicly undressed every single day by national media? Where was Howard coming out in defense of Russ for all he's done for the game last year when people were clowning him left and right?
It's just a little interesting, although defense of Russ is certainly not unwelcome.
It's becoming abundantly clear that Sean Payton is not for everyone, and he never really has been. Payton is a fiery competitor, and he's not afraid to go down with his own proverbial ship. That's good, because he's certainly put a target on his back this year with the comments he's made. This game against Miami was a slice of humble pie that will undoubtedly be tough to swallow.