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Broncos LB Jonas Griffith Would Love Nothing More Than to Pick Off Russell Wilson

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Pittsburgh Steelers Russell Wilson

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 2 matchup against the Broncos in Denver is a game that I’m sure Russell Wilson has circled on his calendar. And vice versa. Broncos head coach Sean Payton would love to ruin Wilson’s return to Mile High.

Wilson was benched by Payton for the final two games of the 2023 season. The two never saw eye to eye, which set up Wilson’s departure after a dreadful two years in Denver. The Broncos will take on an $85 million hit in dead money on its salary cap over the next two seasons because of Wilson’s release.

There’s a lot of bad blood between Wilson and Payton, for sure. One veteran AFC personnel executive even told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that Payton never liked Wilson from Day 1.

“Sean never liked him as the guy from Day 1 and went out of his way to make that known,” the source said.

During an appearance on Denver Sports 104.3, Broncos linebacker Jonas Griffith said that he wants to pick off Wilson in Week 2. However, the main goal is to beat the Steelers.

“I’m really excited obviously for any game I get to play in,” Griffith said. “But you see that one you’re excited to go out there and — beat the Steelers, first of all, it’s a great organization. I want to pick off Russ, for sure. I think that would be really cool, just to pick him off and get the victory, first and foremost.”

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Russell Wilson

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Russell Wilson at the team’s first OTAs practice, May 21, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Griffith was asked by host and former Broncos running back Philip Lindsay if he’ll say “let’s ride” if he sacks Wilson. Griffith laughed and said, “nah.” Some other players probably wouldn’t mind taunting Wilson, however.

Former NFL quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms thinks Payton will do everything in his power to stick it to Wilson in Week 2.

“Never easy playing in Denver. You know, Sean Payton’s gonna want to make a point there and go, ‘Wait, I’m not gonna let the guy that I wasted all this salary cap on, and moved on from, and had to waste all this time talking about and blah, blah, blah. I don’t want him to come in here and win that game.’ I know Sean Payton. He’s chippy. He’s certainly not gonna want that. Definitely not,” Simms said during a Pro Football Talk live episode.

When the Steelers head to Denver, it often does not end well for them. The last time Pittsburgh went there was 2018, when they lost 24-17. Before that, the last time the Steelers had gone to the Mile High City was when they lost in the 2015 playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl Champions.

But the Steelers’ trip to face the Broncos is difficult early in the season. Since 1990, the Broncos are 34-7 in the first two weeks at home. Part of that is due to the brutal elevation change, but Denver is only 1-4 in their last five home games in the first two weeks of the season since 2019, according to Warren Sharp.

Week 2 certainly should be interesting at Mile High.