Denver suffered another dry spell on offense against the lowly Carolina Panthers in Week 12, losing a 23-10 blowout. The Broncos scored a late touchdown while the game already virtually out of reach.
Not only did the loss drop the team’s record to 3-8, but it also plummeted morale (which, admittedly, was already very low). Russell Wilson’s dismal performance — completing 19 of 35 pass attempts for 142 yards and one TD — led to high tensions on the Broncos sideline.
As Denver’s defense was left hung out to dry for another week, defenders finally started calling out Wilson.
After a defensive series that ended in a Panthers field goal and an unnecessary roughness flag, Broncos defensive tackle Mike Purcell stomped to the sideline. He got in Wilson’s face, venting out his frustrations as the smaller Wilson nodded along to Purcell’s frustration.
Teammates’ frustration with Wilson has been apparent all year. Ex-Broncos running back Melvin Gordon was frequently seen giving Wilson the stink eye before getting booted from the team over differences.
Purcell commented on the scene in a postgame interview, saying his frustration was fueled by a desire to see the Broncos offense create a spark of life for the team. He tried to eliminate any ill will.
“Frustration. We want a spark on something. We are all in this together, period,” Purcell said.
OutKick’s Armando Salguero relayed that Wilson responded to the Purcell outburst and said “there’s nothing there at all.”
Will Purcell suffer the same fate as Gordon after shaming Wilson on the sideline? It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, considering how awful this Broncos team has been all year.
It’s safe to say that falling to the three-win Panthers signaled a new rock bottom for Denver, with no apparent solution until the team deviates from its game plan under Wilson and head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
The defense will also have to step up after failing to generate a sack on Carolina’s Sam Darnold. They’ll have their work cut out against Lamar Jackson and Baltimore next week, followed by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14.