Russell Wilson and the rest of the Denver Broncos’ offensive starters got more work in Friday night’s preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals than perhaps anyone expected.

Wilson played four series in the contest, which kept him in the game until midway through the second quarter. Head coach Sean Payton explained that the extended playing time was due to a lack of points on the board scored by the offense.

“We looked at the numbers and we went one more with the offense. I think defense totals, it was a little easier,” Payton said postgame, according to Mike Klis of 9News. “Shoot, I wanted to score and leave a good taste in our mouths.”

Wilson and the rest of the offense came through on Payton’s wish on his final drive. The quarterback connected with Jerry Jeudy on fourth down with a 21-yard touchdown to open the scoring for Denver.

The veteran signal-caller completed seven of his 13 pass attempts for 93 yards and one touchdown to zero interceptions.

The Broncos jumped out to a 10-0 lead and held a 17-10 advantage late but were unable to hold on. Cardinals quarterback David Blough engineered a 10-play, 75-yard game-winning drive that was capped off with a successful two-point conversion to hand Denver a 18-17 defeat.

“Regardless if it is a preseason game or a regular season game, you just can’t stand losing,” Payton added, according to David Brandt of the Associated Press. “Especially in that fashion.”

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