The Denver Broncos are among the worst teams in the NFL this year. They duked it out with one of the other worst teams in the league in the hapless Chicago Bears in Week 4. While the Broncos now have a rare Sunday evening worthy of celebrating, life is miserable leading a sub.-500 team like this on the first day of October. Sean Payton may have been great with the New Orleans Saints, but oof...
Payton spent last year working as an NFL analyst for FOX, a role that he could have kept going forward if he really wanted to. He was excellent in that job. However, he could not help himself and took one of the five head-coaching positions available last offseason cycle. He picked Denver over the likes of the Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans, two teams that look to be better than his.
Not to say the game has passed him by, but the nadir of Broncos football is still dragging a long at rock bottom. Denver gave up 70 points a week ago to the surprisingly juggernaut Miami Dolphins. While we expect Denver to win a few games this season under Payton's guidance, his first month as their head coach is closer to the Nathaniel Hackett complete disaster than we ever could expected.
Apparently, new ownership in Denver is not all that great. If the Walton-Penner Family were smarter, they could have, would have, probably should have hired one of these three coaches over Payton.
Denver Broncos: 3 better options over Sean Payton as their head coach
3. Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson should be a head coach next season
Although he was a finalist for the Carolina Panthers gig that ultimately went to former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich, what a year it was for Ben Johnson as the offensive coordinator of the 2022 Detroit Lions. While it is all about Dan Campbell, man, in the Motor City, man, he has himself one helluva offensive coordinator in Johnson, man. He has gotten the most out of Jared Goff in Detroit.
Frankly, Johnson made the right call to stay put in Detroit. Last offseason was his first real trip on the coaching carousel, and he nearly came away with the Panthers job. Not to say he was ever up for the Broncos gig, but he should have been. Denver's ongoing issues for the better part of a decade now have had to do with offensive ineptitude, really ever since Peyton Manning's arm turned into a noodle.
While I have my doubts about Johnson getting the most out of a declining Russell Wilson's skill set, we have seen him reinvigorate Goff into being an unquestioned top-10 passer in the sport. In short, he has Goff playing the quarterback position with a ton of confidence, probably even more than he felt getting all of the answers on the test from Sean McVay when he was with the Los Angeles Rams.
Johnson will be leading his own NFL team next season, but he could have been leading the Broncos.