Is Russell Wilson-Sean Payton Relationship Already Showing Tension?

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos are 0-2 after blowing a big lead to the Washington Commanders and coming up just short in their comeback attempt in Week 2. Quarterback Russell Wilson's numbers have been decent so far under new head coach Sean Payton, but some underlying tension may have shown itself after Sunday's game.

After the loss to the Commanders, Payton lamented the offense's lack of urgency getting in and out of huddles, and taking up too much time in pre-snap situations. He blamed himself, but also targeted Wilson, saying he had to be better. Payton even went so far as to say his quarterback may have to wear a wristband moving forward.

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Wilson was asked about Payton's comments and didn't seem to think it was as big a deal as his coach did. He claimed, "I thought we've done a really good job getting in and out of the huddles."

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He did say they have to be cleaner, but didn't seem to think it was as big a deal as his coach does.

The Broncos led 21-3 on Sunday and lost 35-33. That's the kind of loss that's on everyone. But after the game, Payton's ire was focused on Wilson and his defense. The offense did manage to score 33 points, but other than a last-second Hail Mary, the Broncos only mustered two field goals after the break, and Wilson was outdueled by first-year starter Sam Howell.

So far this season, Wilson is completing 68.2 percent of his passes, for 485 yards, wiht five touchdowns and one interception. His averaged 7.3 yards per attempt and has a passer rating of 108.5 and a QBR of 62.5. Those are decent numbers. Not top of the NFL stuff, but solid across the board. The issue has been consistency. Denver's offense looks completely out of sync at times.

Maybe that's natural with a new system and some new players. But Wilson is a 34-year-old veteran in his 12th season. He's in the second season of a five-year, $242.6 million deal. It's his job to make this kind of transition smooth.

We'll see where this relationship goes moving forward. The Broncos, as a franchise, are all-in on both guys, and splitting them up would be incredibly costly. They're stuck together and have to make this work.