AFC Notes: Brandon Staley, Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


Broncos HC Sean Payton told reporters after Sunday’s win over the Vikings that turnovers have been key to the team’s turnaround. 

“If you just looked at the stat line you would see Minnesota did a lot of things better than us. We really struggled offensively, especially on third down,” Payton said, via Pro Football Talk. “The one thing we did, we took the ball away three times and we didn’t turn it over, so that becomes the trump card in a game like this.”

“We were fortunate to win. I’m proud of our fight. There’s still a lot we need to clean up, but the turnovers and the takeaways can do that for you when you’re not playing how you want to,” Payton added.


The Chargers’ defense put up another disappointing showing on Sunday during the team’s loss to the Packers. 

“We just fed up,” Chargers safety Alohi Gilman told ESPN after the game. “Something’s got to change.”

While the Packers were able to throw the ball on the Chargers throughout the game, HC Brandon Staley told reporters that he has “full confidence” in the unit and the team moving forward. 

“I have full confidence,” Staley said. “Like I’ve told you from the beginning, I have full confidence in our way of playing. Full confidence in myself as the playcaller, in the way that we teach and the way that we scheme. Full confidence in that. We got to bring this group together and do it consistently. … And that’s where it’s at.

“So you can stop asking that question, OK? I’m going to be calling the defenses … so we’re clear. So you don’t have to ask that again.”

“You guys act like we’ve never played good defense,” Staley added. “That’s not the truth. That’s not the truth. You act like we haven’t made any improvements. Today, in the run game, we played outstanding. We’re rushing the quarterback well. What we got to do a better job of is in the passing game. And that’s where our full attention is. And it’s where it will continue to be.

“There were a lot of other things that caused us to lose today. It certainly wasn’t our defense. It was the way we played as a team. We didn’t play well enough in the red zone on offense. We dropped too many passes. OK? We gave up a few killer sacks. OK? We did this as a team. Stop making it about one unit because that’s not what happened out there today. Our team lost, and I’m fully responsible for it, and I take full responsibility, but we lost as a team today. And that’s the storyline.”

  • Chargers S Derwin James was fined $43,710 for unnecessary roughness.


The Raiders went to fourth-round QB Aidan O’Connell as the starter because the revamped staff thought he gave them a better chance to win than veteran QB Jimmy Garoppolo. But O’Connell’s magic ran out against the Dolphins, as the rookie’s three interceptions were the deciding factor in a 20-13 loss.

We’ve just got to execute better, can’t turn the ball over,” O’Connell said after the game, via “It’s really, at the end of the day, do our job better, me in particular. So yeah, just frustrating.”

“I think I have to probably not be as predictable and … use my legs a little bit,” he added. “I think, again, if I do my job better, we’ll be in better situations. Just all around, I have to play better, pass the ball, decision-making, all that stuff.”

Raiders interim HC Antonio Pierce stressed the importance of taking care of the ball. 

“Got to do a good job with the football,” Pierce said. “Again, that starts with the coaches prepping him, getting him ready, making him understand the situation of football. But again, young player, will do better.”

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