DENVER (KDVR) — History isn’t on the side of teams starting with consecutive losses. 

Since the NFL playoffs expanded to 14 teams in 2020, only 1 in 23 teams have bounced back from a 0-2 start to make the postseason. 

On Sunday, the Denver Broncos ended up on the wrong side of that stat, suffering a heartbreaking 35-33 loss to the Washington Commanders.

“Before you’re talking about how to win games, you also have to understand how not to lose games,” said head coach Sean Payton on his Monday morning Zoom call. 

Entering Sunday, Sean Payton’s teams were 72-0 including playoffs with at least an 18-point lead. That was the case on Sunday until Russell Wilson’s fumble in the second half caused the team to unravel. 

Tack on a league-high 19 penalties, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

“We’ve got to be better and more disciplined in that area, and that starts with us as coaches,” said Payton.

So, how can Payton steer this ship in the right direction? Maybe it starts with simplification.

“We’re having trouble breaking the huddle and getting lined up,” Payton explained. “How do we reduce the verbiage at the line of scrimmage or in the huddle? (Because) quite frankly, it goes from me to the QB, the QB to the offense, and then here we go.” 

The Broncos lost nine games by fewer than eight points in 2022. So far in 2023, Denver opened the season with a one-point loss to the Raiders, 17-16, and two points to the Commanders, 35-33.

The Broncos travel to South Florida to face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 11 a.m.