Broncos Briefs: Courtland Sutton's starting debut step forward in NFL maturation (Kyle Fredrickson, Denver Post)
"He made some plays for us," coach Vance Joseph said Monday. "He got a little tired yesterday. That comes with being the main guy. Playing more downs and playing full speed for 50 plays, that's tough. He has to get in NFL football shape. When that happens, he's going to, in my opinion, be a special player. You could see it (Sunday). He can make plays with the ball in his hands. It was fun to watch him do that."
Sutton finished with three receptions for 57 yards.
"It was awesome to be able to go out there and do that," Sutton said after the game. "From the team aspect, I wish we would have gotten the win big picture wise."
Upon further review: A closer look at what went wrong (and right) for the Broncos in their latest loss (Nicki Jhabvala, The Athletic)
Although the Broncos again produced a few too many mistakes that cost them the game, the performance of their defense was one of the most complete this season.
The Broncos had 10 tackles for loss, the most since October 2015, against the Vikings. They had four sacks, with one each from Bradley Chubb, DeMarcus Walker, Derek Wolfe and Von Miller. They limited the Texans to 3.0 yards per carry and held Deshaun Watson to under 300 passing yards.
Better yet: They allowed only one play of more than 20 yards — a 31-yard catch-and-run by Demaryius Thomas in the first series. In the Broncos' previous eight games, their defense allowed an average of about five plays of 20-plus yards per game.
Broncos Film Review: Fourth-quarter field position squandered in loss to Houston (Ryan O'Halloran, Denver Post)
Gotsis spear-headed a solid run effort defending the run. The Broncos held their opponent without an explosive rush (at least a 12-yard gain) for the second consecutive game and their 15 run "stuffs" (gain of three or fewer yards) was their second-highest total of the season (16 against the Jets). Gotsis and linebacker Todd Davis had three "stuffs" apiece.
Broncos are now 0-but-close against league's heavyweights (Jeff Legwold, ESPN)
"The gut-wrenching loss today is no different than other losses," Joseph said. "I just feel bad for our guys, because they work hard all week just for this one opportunity to win a football game. They haven't stopped working in two years. I want wins for them, for our guys."
After the game, Joseph talked of the loss of center Matt Paradis to a fractured right fibula, as well as players who will be set to return from injuries after the bye who "are going to help us win." He has said every coach in the league should approach every week as if his future depends on it because "that's the business."