Wilson already has five touchdown passes after tallying 16 in 15 games last year. His completion percentage is 68.2 percent, higher than it was last year and the year before. The Broncos have scored 49 points so far this year, tied for 14th in the league. Yes, it's super early in the season. But given how lost they looked last year, it's a huge sign of progress.
So, what has Payton done to make the Broncos a viable offensive unit? Among other things, he is making the verbiage for plays easier to communicate, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. After the Broncos' Week 2 loss to the Washington Commanders, he explained at Tuesday's practice that they are looking to change some things up.
“We did it last night when we put the plan together,” Payton said, via PFT. “So, if a play [is] X Curl, Z Post, Y Shake, let’s call it [something different] and come up with code names that help do that. That was last night.”
One of many issues the Broncos had in Week 2, Payton's team dug itself a massive hole. It almost escaped with a last-second Hail Mary touchdown but lost on a failed two-point conversion (that featured a big no-call). Ironing out wrinkles can help Denver keep the ball moving on a more consistent basis.
“We always have a wrist band,” Payton said, via PFT. “There are certain plays that are going to be longer. I’ll say, ‘Russ, let’s run No. 2,’ or, ‘Let’s flip No. 2,’ on the left hash or right hash. In hindsight last week, there are probably four or five plays that would have been easier had they been wrist banded, but we can still reduce the verbiage.”
The Broncos' offense has to sharpen up with a Week 3 contest against the Miami Dolphins on deck. Their first road game of the year presents a strong offensive unit that will not be easy to keep up with, especially with Denver's defense not looking super great. Under Payton, Wilson looks impressive again and it could allow Denver to compete for a playoff spot.