MENTAL MONDAYS

Wilson and Payton can prove their worth in monster game

Nov 13, 2023, 4:00 AM


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Tonight is a tough spot for the Broncos. They’re on the road, in a rowdy environment, against a team that many consider a Super Bowl contender.

Thus, few expect Denver to pull off the upset in Buffalo. The experts think the Bills will send the Broncos home with a loss on “Monday Night Football.”

That would derail the momentum that the Broncos gained before the bye week. It would snap Denver’s two-game winning streak, a stretch that included a win over the Chiefs and generated some hope in the Mile High City.

It would be a continuation of the team’s recent failures. It would be a sign that their seven-year run of futility is destined to continue.

But if Denver can pull the upset, if they can roll into Orchard Park and knock off Josh Allen and company, it would be the franchise’s biggest win since Super Bowl 50. It would change the way the team is viewed – nationally, locally and even in the building.

With a win, the Broncos would be a playoff contender. This year.

The idea of ending their seven-year postseason drought wouldn’t be an outrageous notion. They’d be on the “In the Hunt” graphic during “Sunday Night Football” for weeks to come.

It’s a tall order. But this is the kind of moment that Denver has invested for in recent years. They’ve spent big in order to seize this kind of opportunity.

A showdown in Buffalo on “Monday Night Football” is why they gave up a king’s ransom for Russell Wilson. The Broncos sent picks and players to the Seahawks, and forked over millions, in order to get a quarterback who could shine on the big stage.

Denver can go to Buffalo and lose with Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Case Keenum, et al. They brought in Wilson so these types of games weren’t impossible missions.

It’s also the kind of game that is built for Sean Payton. Denver traded a first-round pick to the Saints and paid the head coach millions so they could compete against the likes of the Bills in a big moment.

The Broncos can get routed with Nathaniel Hackett, Vic Fangio or Vance Joseph at the helm. That’s what happens to first-time head coaches, not ones who’ve won titles.

This is why they traded for Russ. This is why why traded for Payton.

A Super Bowl-winning QB. A Super Bowl-winning head coach. They weren’t brought to Denver to be also-rans. They’re here to win big games, in tough places, against good teams.

A win in Buffalo changes Denver’s season. It’s alters the trajectory of the franchise.

Wilson and Payton can justify the blockbuster deals that brought them to town with a win tonight. This is why they’re here. This is the moment to prove their worth.

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