HomeFootball DirtSean Payton, Broncos coach, publicly remained tight-lipped about his shouting at QB...

Sean Payton, Broncos coach, publicly remained tight-lipped about his shouting at QB Russell Wilson on the sideline.

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DETROIT (AP) — Denver coach Sean Payton screamed at quarterback Russell Wilson on the sideline and anyone watching on TV, or witnessing the game at Ford Field, could see the animated exchange in Detroit’s 42-17 victory Saturday night.

Payton insisted he was simply upset about an offside penalty in the third quarter that negated a touchdown that would have cut Denver’s deficit to 14 points.

“That’s all,” he said. “Simple.”

If Payton’s rant was related to the flag, why was he yelling at Wilson?

“Listen, what I talk to Russell about is none of your business,” Payton said curtly to a reporter.

Payton said he didn’t challenge the spot on the two plays before the penalty because that’s difficult, and stood by his decision to kick a field goal instead of going for a touchdown on fourth-and-5 from the Detroit 5 while down by 21 points.

“I think it made sense,” he said.

Denver (7-7) had won six of its previous seven games to pull within a game of AFC West-leading Kansas City before losing to the Lions (10-4) to hurt its chances of making the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season when the franchise won its third Super Bowl.

“They kicked our butts,” Payton said after facing one of his mentees, Detroit coach Dan Campbell said. “They outplayed us and outcoached us.”

The potentially pivotal series in the third quarter started at the Denver 25 and was stunted when running back Javonte Williams was stopped for no gain at the Detroit 1 on third down.

On the next play, fullback Michael Burton ran up the middle into the end zone only to have the score nullified by an offsides penalty on offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz.

“That would’ve given us a chance to keep the game close,’’ Wilson said

Denver’s offense struggled, especially early, and could never find a rhythm, in part due to the Lions’ defense which had sputtered in recent games.

At the half, the Broncos had 75 total net yards while the Lions had 279. Denver was 1 of 6 on third-down attempts over the first two quarters and finished 5 of 13 on third down.

Wilson, who was 18 of 32 for 223 yards with a passing and rushing touchdown, was mercifully taken out of the game with less than two minutes remaining.

“We can play a little cleaner, a little sharper,’’ Wilson said.

The Broncos started the season 1-5 and bounced back well enough to get into playoff contention.

“We’ve got to keep believing,” Wilson said. “We’ve done it before.”

The Broncos’ defense was a big reason they had won six of seven games entering Saturday night’s game, but they had no answer for the Lions through the air or on the ground.

While Denver’s defense did give up 70 points to Miami in Week 3, the unit had not given up more than 22 points since Oct. 8 in a loss to the New York Jets.

Jared Goff matched a career high with five touchdowns and Detroit ran for 185 yards, gaining 7 yards per attempt.

Denver, which led the league in fumble recoveries and takeaways, did not force one turnover against a team that had given up the ball eight times over the previous four games.

“There wasn’t a lot positive for us,” Payton said. “Frustrating night. It’s tough to have one of these nights, obviously, with a lot at stake.”

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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