Sean Payton, Broncos left reeling after Dolphins dole out monumental beatdown

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Sean Payton was disappointed, saying he was at "a loss for words."

The Denver Broncos just allowed the Miami Dolphins to score 70 points on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium – three points shy of a new NFL regular-season record.

And Payton fell to 0-3 in his first season in Denver after taking over for Nathaniel Hackett, the coach he openly criticized before the season.

“I’ve been on the other sides of some games like that. And then every once in a while in this league, you get your butt whipped,” Payton said.

“But this was more than that.”

Payton’s news conference didn’t last more than four minutes after the Broncos suffered the 70-20 defeat.

He even had a contentious exchange with a reporter, who pointed out the historic nature of the defeat as the Broncos also allowed 726 yards, the second-highest single-game total in NFL history.

“I’m aware,” Payton said.

Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton watches from the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton watches from the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The Broncos saw Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throw four touchdown passes, while running backs Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane each tallied four scores in the blowout. In all, Denver allowed Miami to score 10 touchdowns.

And the Dolphins gracefully kneeled the football instead of attempting a field goal to notch the NFL regular-season record for points in a game at 73.

“Listen: We knew we were playing a real good offense, but we got to look closely at what we’re doing,” Payton said. “If someone is running the ball up and down the field, throw it up and down the field, it’s not acceptable. You can’t… We just got to get to the tape. Next question.”

Added Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson: “I’ve never experienced that one before.”

Sure, Wilson’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton on Denver's second drive of the game was reminiscent of his Seattle Seahawks heyday, when he shined extending plays with a scramble outside the pocket.

And receiver Marvin Mims Jr.’s 99-yard kickoff return, which made it 63-20 in the fourth quarter, was a bright spot.

But the rest of the day was a comedy of errors for the Broncos.

The gaffes included:

  • Allowing Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill to score a 54-yard touchdown three plays into the game with no one near him until he was passing him at the 10-yard line into the end zone.

  • Having two touchdowns taken off the board – one due to a holding penalty, the other due to an illegal shift.

  • Being gifted a possession on the 33-yard line, but it ended with Wilson on his back with the Dolphins logo midfield under him.

  • Letting a 28-10 deficit balloon to 35-10 after a fumble led to another Dolphins score before halftime.

And when the second half was underway, Sutton’s fumble after a 29-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter and Wilson’s interception down 49-13 were just more of the same.

“I’m tired of losing man,” Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles said. “Been here for seven years, and all I’ve done is lost. It’s frustrating.”

Both Payton and Wilson were adamant about the Broncos diving into the film study to this game.

The Broncos will visit the Chicago Bears next Sunday, still looking for the first win of the Payton era.

Said Payton: “We have to get up off the mat here, and get ready for next week."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sean Payton, Denver Broncos reeling after Miami Dolphins' massive rout