The Broncos have generally performed poorly on defense, but the club has particularly struggled against the run.
Yes, the 70-20 loss to Miami skews the numbers a bit. But Denver also gave up 171 rushing yards to Chicago in Week 4. And on Sunday, the Jets got 234 yards on the ground.
After Sunday’s loss, the Broncos have surrendered a league-high 938 yards on the ground with a league-worst 5.9 yards per carry.
“That was the first topic this morning,” Payton said Monday, via Nick Kosmider of TheAthletic.com. “It’s going to be tough to win games if we can’t stop the run defensively. We’ve got to get it cleaned up. I’d start with fitting the right gaps.
“And then it’s understanding, scheme-wise, what we’re getting and how to restrict those holes. A lot of it is not communication; it’s technique. But that has to get better.”
The Broncos don’t have a lot of time to make adjustments this week, as they’ll play the Chiefs on Thursday night. Kansas City’s offense hasn’t been at its best early on in the season, but second-year running back Isiah Pacheco is certainly capable of breaking one off for a long score.