Sean Payton sends a ten-word message as he pinpoints the major key that led to the Denver Broncos’ remarkable turnaround…

Sean Payton: “I guess it’s first in the league since that 1-5 start,”

Six weeks into the NFL season, the Denver Broncos found themselves at the bottom of the league with a dismal 1-5 record, marked by a humiliating 50-point loss to the Miami Dolphins. Fast forward five games, and the Broncos are now on a five-game winning streak, tying with the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles as one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

Sean Payton, the head coach, addressed the remarkable turnaround following the Broncos’ 29-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns. He highlighted key areas that contributed to their success, emphasizing the statistical improvements since their 1-5 start.

According to Payton, the most significant changes include better ball protection and takeaways, improved run defense, and an enhanced complementary style of football. Protecting the ball and winning the turnover battle emerged as critical factors in the Broncos’ transformation. During their initial 1-5 struggles, they had a minus-five turnover margin, with 11 turnovers and only six takeaways. In the subsequent five-game winning streak, they reduced turnovers to three while amassing an impressive 16 takeaways, resulting in a plus-13 turnover differential.

This remarkable statistic places the Broncos at the top of the league in takeaways, with 22 total takeaways on the season, surpassing the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills. Ja’Quan McMillian’s two interceptions in the recent five-game stretch outpaced Russell Wilson’s zero interceptions during the same period.

Another critical factor in Denver’s resurgence was the improvement in their run defense. In their dismal start, the Broncos allowed an average of over 172 rushing yards per game, reaching a low point with 755 total yards surrendered on the ground from Week 3 to Week 5. However, in the five-game winning streak, their run defense improved significantly, allowing an average of 112 rushing yards per game—bringing them to the league average for the season.

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This defensive turnaround contributed to a remarkable reduction in points allowed per game, dropping from over 33 points in the 1-5 start to just 16 points during the five-game win streak.

In essence, the key to Denver’s extraordinary turnaround lies in tangible improvements across key areas, turning them from the laughing stock of the league to genuine playoff contenders as they head into December.

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