The Broncos lost to the Texans 22-17 to move to 6-6 on the season. Below is the recap and postgame interviews.
Broncos won the toss and deferred to the 2nd half.
CJ Stroud and the Houston Texans took the field to start the game. The Texans opened with two handoffs to Devin Singletary and a scramble by CJ Stroud that came up short of the first down marker. Broncos defense forced a 3 and out to start the game and a punt.
The Broncos offense started their first drive of the day from their own 18 yard line. Russell Wilson opened up by taking two deep shots to Courtland Sutton that fell incomplete. On 3rd and 10, Russ was forced to scramble but was only able to to scramble for 7 yards. Riley Dixon's punt was partially blocked so the Texans would start in great field position for their 2nd drive at the Denver 47 yard line.
On the first pass of the drive, Stroud found TE Brevin Jordan for a big gain of 27 yards to set up quickly in the Red Zone. Former Broncos TE Andrew Beck couldn't come up a pass in the flat on 3rd down so the Texans were forced to settle for a short field goal, taking an early 3-0 lead.
Denver's second drive started from their own 25 yard line after the touchback kickoff. Nice run by Javonte for 5 yards to start the drive but on 3rd and 3, Russell Wilson was sacked by rookie pass rusher Will Anderson for an 11 yard loss and were forced to punt again after going 3 and out for the 2nd straight drive.
CJ Stroud went right after the Broncos secondary on a go ball to Nico Collins for a 52 yard catch vs Fabian Moreau. Pat Surtain got tangled up with Tank Dell and had to come out of the game with a knee injury. On 4th and 1, CJ Stroud did a QB sneek to keep the drive going. Alex Singleton got called for a personal foul penalty for barely breathing on CJ Stroud so the Texans, with a little home cooking, were able to keep their drive going. Two plays later, Dameon Pierce punched it in from 3 yards out and the Broncos found themselves in an early 10-0 deficit. Tank Dell, the talented rookie WR for the Texans, got rolled up and was carted off the field after the play.
The Broncos finally got their first 1st down of the game with a quick pass to Lil'Jordan Humphrey for 12 yards but the drive would stall at mid-field and the Broncos were forced to punt it right back to the Texans, who would start their next drive at the 11 yard line. On 3rd and 6, CJ Stroud bought some time and hit a wide open Nico Collins for a 59 yard gain down the right sideline. The Denver defense was able to stop the drive and Houston settled for a 38-yard field goal, extending their lead 13-0.
On the next Broncos drive, trailing by two scores, Denver was able to get a tough run by Javonte Williams for 16 yards that got the offense to mid field. An unbelievable no call PI that should've happened against Derek Stingley on Marvin Mims near the goal line was another difficult moment in the game. The drive stalled at the 50 and Denver punted again.
The next Houston drive got started quickly as CJ Stroud hit Brevin for a 24 yard gain but a tripping call backed the Texans back 15 yards and eventually, after a Pierce draw play gained 22 yards, the offense was forced to punt for only the 2nd time in the game. Broncos took over at their 28 yard line with 6:33 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
The Broncos offense finally got some momentum as Russell Wilson executed a nice balance of run and pass, moving Denver into Houston territory for the 1st time in the game. A solid drive but stalled at the Texans 16 yard line so, Wil Lutz converted 34 yard field goal to get Denver on the board, now trailing 13-3 with 1:24 remaining in the half.
CJ Stroud almost completed a deep TD pass to John Metchie but thankfully overthrew him and the Texans punted, leading us to halftime 13-3.
Broncos got the ball to start the 2nd half but the results were similar to the start of the game as Denver quickly went three and out. Texans nabbed two sacks on the drive, one by Will Anderson and one by Justin Greenard. Texans get the ball back at their 40 yard line.
Texans went back to work and on 3rd and 11, CJ Stroud found Nico Collins for 39 yards to get the ball quickly into Denver territory. Denver's defense were able to slow them down as the Texans were forced to settle for a 38 yard field goal, extending the lead 16-3.
Denver's offense tried to get back on track but, once again, went 3 and out but the story really was that Samaje Perine should've been called for a fumble but the refs said his progress had stopped before the strip. Broncos would take the break but forced to punt it back to Houston, trailing 16-3 with 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Houston quickly went three and out on the next drive after two incompletions and the Broncos offense went back to work with 6:07 remaining in the 3rd quarter from their own 39 yard line.
Russell Wilson FINALLY connected with Courtland Sutton on a deep pass for a touchdown as, even though Jalen Pitre was all over 14 and called for pass interference, Sutton was able to hang on and catch a huge TD to pull the Broncos within a score, 16-10.
The Broncos defense was starting to feel the momentum shift as Zach Allen and Baron Browning combined to set up a 3rd and long when JaQuan McMillian came on a corner blitz and stripped the ball out of CJ Stroud's hands but it miraculously bounced into the arms of the Texans and they were forced to punt.
Broncos offense, now with the ball and momentum, were primed to take control of the game but the ball was tipped by Will Anderson at the line and Derek Stingley intercepted Russell Wilson. It was only Russ' 5th interception of the season but it proved costly as, 4 plays later, CJ Stroud found a wide open Nico Collins in the back of the end zone to extend the Texans lead. The 2 point conversion was intercepted by Fabian Moreau so the Texans lead was 22-10 with 14:16 remaining in the 4th quarter.
The Broncos weren't done though as Russell Wilson hit Jerry Jeudy for a wide open 41 yard gain all the way down to the Texans 1 yard line. Russell Wilson ran down and dove into the end zone for a 1 yard touchdown, pulling the Broncos within 5, 22-17.
Houston went back to work but CJ Stroud was sacked by Alex Singleton putting them in 3rd and long before Pat Surtain broke up a pass intended for Nico Collins. Broncos offense got the ball back but Russell Wilson, targeting Sutton deep, threw the ball right to Derek Stingley who got his 2nd INT of the game.
The Broncos defense was able to withstand the next drive that saw PJ Locke with two huge plays, a TFL and sack on CJ Stroud, giving the Broncos offense back the ball at their 20 yard line trailing by 5.
On the first play of the final drive, Russell Wilson hit Courtland Sutton over the middle for 32 yards, quickly getting Denver to midfield. The Broncos converted TWO 4th down conversions to get within the 10 yard line in the waning seconds of the game. Alas, on 3rd down, Russell Wilson was trying to hit Lucas Krull but threw in INT to Jimmy Ward and the Broncos fell to the Texans 22-17.
The next broadcast will be on Sunday, December 10th as the Broncos take on the Chargers in Los Angeles. Coverage starts at 8am MTN.
Below are postgame interviews with Sean Payton, Russell Wilson