ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Chiefs extended their lead to 37-9 with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill, Bradley Chubb expressed his displeasure.
According to a report on the CBS broadcast, Chubb was heated as he headed to the sideline and yelled in the direction of his teammates.
"I think that's a good thing," CBS commentator Jay Feely said on the broadcast. "You have to have guys that show fire, that are ticked off, that aren't going to accept mediocrity and not playing well. That's what leadership is about."
Chubb confirmed Tuesday that the momentary frustration was a display of passion and showed how much he cared for this team. And as a third-year player who is already a leader of the team, Chubb believes it's his responsibility — and his teammates' responsibility — to hold each other accountable.
"Losing to your supposed rivals by 20 or 30 points is not what you want to do," Chubb said. "That's not football, that's not fun. [We're] not going out there and having fun when stuff like that happens. I'm trying to be one of the guys that changes this losing we've been doing these past couple years. I'm trying to be the catalyst, and I've got guys around me that are trying to do the same thing as well. It's not going to happen overnight. It's not going to happen by guys letting things slide and letting things go unsaid. I feel like with me stepping into that role I've got to be the one that steps up and says stuff like that and gets animated and shows people how much this really means to me — how much I really care. We worked a whole lot to get here and I'm trying to make the most of it and the best of this opportunity. I don't want any doubts when I get done playing football. I don't want any, 'Oh, he was good, but he did this,' I don't want that for myself, and I don't want that for any of my teammates."
Chubb said without Von Miller on the field, he's made a point to fill the leadership void. With 4.5 sacks in his last three games, he's also stepped up from a productivity standpoint.
The Broncos will need more from their offense and special teams, though, if they are to move past a 43-16 loss to Kansas City in time to earn a win against the Chargers.
Chubb said he believes that despite the team's relative youth, they can learn from Sunday's experience and rebound in the win column.
"We're still young," Chubb said. "We've still got guys that are learning how to be pros and get into the flow of things. We've got so much talent, but like I said, it's just guys learning how to be pros and how all this stuff really works. Everyone on this team is locked in and ready — eyes focused and ears open, ready to follow whoever is ready to lead. That's why I feel like I had to step up. We've got guys — like Drew Lock is one of the greatest kids you'll ever meet. He goes out there with passion, and I know he's going to change it around. I know that those guys on the offensive line are going to continue to block their asses off. I know that the receivers are going to catch those balls that are sometimes 50-50 balls. I know all of that is going to change. I know it for a fact, and I 100 percent believe it, now it's just time for us to go out and show it. I know those guys are just as upset as we are because they want to win just as much as I do. So, I know 100 percent that this whole team is going to change this around, and I just want to be that kick start to getting it changed around."
Noah Fant sensed the defense's frustration on Sunday after it largely bottled up Patrick Mahomes, and he doesn't fault the unit for expecting more.
"There were definitely words said in the locker room after the game," Fant said. "Not going to go into detail — that stays in the locker room. They have every right to be frustrated, upset and any of the above. From my perspective being an offensive player, I put a lot of the load on us. I feel like the defense played [well] — Kansas City is one of the most powerful and high-octane offenses in the league. They were holding them to field goals, getting three-and-outs and all these things. We're not really living up to our ability on offense.
"If I was in a defensive player's position, I would feel the exact same way. Those guys have every right to be heated and upset. Like I said before, this is a time where the offense has to look in the mirror. We're having help from our defense, but what can we do to put points on the board? What can we do to do these things? If we aren't living up to that expectation, then we have to change something around and get to that point."
Fant, who ranks second on the team in receptions and third in receiving yards, said he understands that an offense that ranks 28th in scoring needs to improve — and quickly.
"I don't have a bad attitude about it, but I'm not happy with the results that we have right now," Fant said. "It's unacceptable with where we're at. We want to be better than what we're doing. The statistics and the conversions — you look at all the numbers, we're not living up to our potential. We have so much ability and so much talent on the offensive side of the ball, and we have to figure out how to make things work. Again, not a bad attitude from my part — [I'm] still positive about it.
"But at some point, it's like, 'Put up or shut up.' It's time to buckle down and get these things going. As for me and anybody on this team, we have to be on our P's and Q's to get this thing turned around."