How patient will Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton be before making changes if Denver’s struggles persist? This was one question sent in for our Week 3 Broncos Mailbag.

Denver Broncos Week 3 Mailbag

If you want to participate in our weekly Mile High Sports Broncos Mailbag series, stay tuned on Twitter @CodyRoarkNFL on Monday mornings for the prompt to submit your questions.

How patient will Sean Payton be before making changes?

Football is a rollercoaster of ebbs and flows. In its purest form, football is chaos, both organized and unconventional.

0-2 is not where the Denver Broncos saw themselves starting the year, especially with their first two games being home games. As we all learned from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham in the piece he did earlier this month, Payton values the little intricacies of operation, scheme, design, and execution.

He’s a perfectionist, and it keeps him up at night.

Week 2 was a disastrous performance for Denver, defensively, and Payton didn’t hold back on describing how he felt that unit played.

“I thought we were poor,” Payton told us on Sunday. “We didn’t help them with the field position, with the turnover, but our red-zone defense was poor. First-down defense—we’re not fitting certain pressures. We have to look at how much do we have in, defensively, same way. I didn’t think we played well, and we’re going to see a lot better offenses than that. I think in the second half, I didn’t like the rushing numbers that I thought we played well with in the first half, if that makes sense.”

While the Broncos offense struggled in the second half, I think Denver will be fine on that side of the ball over time. The defense, on the other hand, will face plenty of questions after two weeks.

Broncos Country has chimed in with their displeasure for the defense’s struggles, even suggesting that Payton should move on from defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.

Let’s be clear — the defense has to play much better and Joseph’s responsible for putting them in the right position to be successful. He will have to adjust how aggressive he is versus what the offense is doing, but it’s entirely too early to make any decision like this.

Who would take over as DC if that were the case? What would be the difference in how that coach calls plays, etc.?

In theory, a move like that may bring relief to parts of the fanbase but doesn’t necessarily solve the issues we have seen so far.

Why did the Broncos fail to target Marvin Mims in the second half and should Riley Moss start at CB2 if healthy? – Kinlayy

Marvin Mims got off to such an explosive start on Sunday. His speed dynamic was truly on display and he did a tremendous job of tracking the football.

Payton told us after the game part of the issue of him not seeing a target in the second half was influenced by changes in coverage scheme, and getting other personnel involved.

“Yes, some of it’s coverage driven, and some of it is just based on what we’re in,” Payton said. “We ended up in a couple different personnel groupings. Part of that is coincidence, I would say. We had a number of guys we were trying to get the ball to, and we’ll keep doing that.”

Courtland Sutton didn’t see a single target until the third quarter of play. I think utilizing Mims will help open up more balance between him, Jerry Jeudy, Sutton, and other receivers.

I don’t know if that’s what we’ll see regarding Riley Moss. I could see him playing a role on special teams and in certain personnel packages on defense. Still, I don’t think we’ll see him start at CB on the outside unless there is an injury to Patrick Surtain or Damarri Mathis, and even if that happened, Ja’Quan McMillian is next up on the depth chart.

Moss will eventually find a way onto the field, but he missed all of training camp after core muscle surgery and will work his way into a role.

Tear it down time. This is possibly the best QB draft in decades, it is great at the top and deep. Losing is priority. Trade Simmons and Jeudy to pick up additional assets. – Craig

I get that the fanbase is frustrated and tired of the team losing games, but most NFL teams don’t believe in this philosophy. Sean Payton sure as heck won’t even entertain the thought of ‘tanking’ let alone getting rid of players he feel make up the identity of what he wants from his teams.

Justin Simmons is a face of the franchise type of player for Denver. Payton values him, the Walton-Penner family ownership group value him. While they understand the business side of the NFL, Simmons and Patrick Surtain are two ‘untouchable’ players and should be untouchable in my opinion.

The real NFL world doesn’t operate like Madden. Getting rid of top players for draft picks doesn’t guarantee success or change. It’s the riskiest move an organization could make.

While I appreciate the perspective from a fanbase tired of losing, there are better ways to turn things around, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

We’ve lost two games on our schedule that we should have won, and our schedule doesn’t get any easier. Is there still a chance this team makes the playoffs? – Austin

Statistically speaking, Andrew Mason was telling me earlier last week about a stat that doesn’t paint Denver’s chances in a positive light.

It was something along the lines of teams in the modern era being 2-50 or 2-51 after losing the first two games of the season at home in terms of making the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals are one of those teams from last year.

There are 15 more regular season games remaining, and anything is possible. As cliche as it sounds, the Broncos must focus on things one week at a time.

A win on the road in Miami here in Week 3 could change the vibe and narrative going forward, but ideally, Denver will need to steal two or three games on the schedule that nobody thinks they’ll win.

Football is the most emotionally gripping, up-and-down sport in all of professional sports. Denver is facing adversity much earlier than we expected, but they have all of the tools to turn things around, as unlikely as it seems to so many.

What changed for the Denver Broncos offense after the 21-3 lead? – Daniel

Turnovers and momentum. One led to the other, becoming a snowball effect on Sunday.

Russell Wilson’s fumble was a negative outcome that trickled down to the defense afterward. Washington captured that momentum and gained confidence, while it was evident Denver lost theirs.

After halftime, Denver’s offense went backward because of Daron Payne’s impact, and they punted it away and Washington marched down to score.

Credit to Washington for capitalizing, but Denver had too many self-inflicted wounds on offense and defense that spiraled any momentum they tried to gather.

Sometimes that happens, but it can’t be the theme of the season going forward.