"I thought our offense stunk today. I thought the (Texans) defense totally kicked our butt," said Manning.
"We did," said wide receiver
Regardless of the description, the performance wasn't good enough, and was capped by a two-minute period that ended with a fourth-down stop when Texans safety D.J. Swearinger broke up two consecutive passes, to
"They came in and did what they were supposed to do. They put pressure [on us]. They stopped us on a couple third downs, fourth downs and two-minute (drills)," said Thomas.
Added Manning: "We played Sunday, we were off yesterday, so we didn’t have a ton of preparation for this practice. So with the game Sunday, the schedule just didn’t allow us a lot of time. We didn’t execute well," Manning said.
But it was not an excuse.
"I just call it like I see it," he added. "To have a pretty low-average practice you’ve got to call it a low-average practice."
The offensive performance is where today's Five Thoughts begins.
1. Examples of the offense's lack of crispness Monday included a Kareem Jackson interception of a Manning-to-Thomas attempt in one-on-one drills, a missed deep pass to Welker in the two-minute drill period, and multiple breakdowns that saw the pocket collapse around Manning,
"We’ve got to be better tomorrow than we were today and hopefully be even better on Saturday than we were last week," Manning said.
2. Manning mentioned the lack of lead time following Sunday's 34-0 win over the San Francisco 49ers, and that had an impact in the decision to conduct practice in shorts instead of the full-pad work originally planned.
"We were a day behind them as far as the recovery," said Head Coach John Fox. The Texans played Atlanta on Saturday, one day before the Broncos swamped the 49ers.
And it was healthy for the Broncos to receive a bit of an awakening after a win in which little went awry.
"Coming off that game, a lot of guys were happy about it. But coming out today against the Houston Texans, we didn’t do so well. That says a lot," wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said. "I don’t know what it was, but I think as a group of offense and defense, we didn’t do too well, especially coming off a 34-0 win. Even if it was a preseason game, I think we did a great job Sunday and not so good today."
4. The Broncos defense matched Houston's intensity, which was evident during the one-on-one pass rush period.
The aggression also showed in the two-minute drill work at the end of practice. The first series ended when
Watt's presence as a 3-4 defensive end provides a test along the line, as he's more likely to line up against a guard than a tackle. When he grappled with right guard