BRONCOS

After win in Buffalo, something special is brewing in Broncos Country

Nov 13, 2023, 10:20 PM | Updated: 10:26 pm

The Broncos are back!

Forget about the loss to the Raiders in Week 1. Nevermind the fact that they blew a 21-3 lead to the Commanders in the following game. And disregard the 70 burger they gave up in a 50-point loss to the Dolphins to start the season 0-3.

That was the old Broncos. That team is dead and gone. The new version is one that is poised to make some noise in the second half of the season.

Yes, Denver is only 4-5. Sure, they barely make it onto the “In the Hunt” graphic went TV networks start talking about the playoffs. And admittedly, there are only two teams in the AFC with fewer wins at the moment.

But that’s ignoring the momentum the Broncos have at the moment. That’s paying no attention to the mojo they have going.

On Monday night, they went into Buffalo (Orchard Park, to be exact) and pulled off a massive upset. More than a touchdown favorite entering the game, Denver knocked off the Bills on their home field, dispatching of a Super Bowl contender for the second time in three weeks.

Discount the win against the Bears. That’s fine. Chicago isn’t very good and the Broncos had to overcome a 28-7 deficit in order to secure their first win of the season.

Ignore the victory over the Packers. Green Bay is in a transition year, as they make the move from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love at quarterback.

But a win over the Chiefs? That’s difficult to dismiss.

Sure, Patrick Mahomes was under the weather. But Kansas City was the hottest team in the league entering their Week 8 showdown with the Broncos. And the Chiefs had won 16-consecutive games over their AFC West rival. That win mattered. Big time.

To some extent, it would’ve gone for naught, however, if Denver couldn’t back it up with another victory. The win had all the makings of a shallow victory, one that would simply cost the Broncos draft positioning, if it didn’t serve as a springboard to bigger and better things.

Those dividends arrived on Monday night. With a win over the Bills, the Broncos made this season meaningful. They kicked the notions of tanking for Caleb Williams, Drake Maye or anyone else to the curb.

Denver is in the playoff hunt. They’re 4-5, heading into back-to-back home games. If they can beat Josh Dobbs and the Vikings, they’ll reach .500. If they can knock off the Browns, they’ll be squarely in the postseason chase.

No one thought that would be the case when the team was 0-3. At that point, everyone was writing off Russell Wilson and lamenting the decision to hire Sean Payton. They needed to prove their worth.

But in the win at Buffalo, both proved their value. The quarterback and head coach showed that they were worth the investment the team made in them.

Payton had his team ready to go. For the second-straight game, the Broncos were flying around from the opening play, evident by the fact that they forced a Buffalo turnover in the first few seconds of the game.

It would’ve been very easy for Denver to wave the white flag on this season. At 1-5, most people had already done so. But their head coach stayed the course, kept his team believing and didn’t throw in the towel. That belief is paying off.

Payton deserves credit. He kept a team that should’ve careened off course from turning into a disaster.

Wilson was also excellent in the win. His stat line was good, as the QB completed 24-of-29 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns, while also running nine times for 30 yards. But the numbers only tell part of the story.

Both of this touchdowns were vintage Wilson. His second-quarter scoring strike to Courtland Sutton was an unbelievable play, as he bought time and threw a dime to the corner of the end zone while falling down. Few QBs in the NFL can make that pass. The second was a terrific play under duress, as he took a hit from an unblocked pass rusher and still found Javonte Williams for a three-yard TD.

Wilson made magical plays all night. He kept pulling a rabbit out his hat, improvising to move the chains. He did so multiple times on the Broncos 10-play, 57-yard yard drive to win the game.

This is what Greg Penner paid for when he opened his checkbook for Payton and Wilson. He bought a head coach who can build a winner and a quarterback who is clutch. On Monday night, both were up to the part. Both answered the bell.

The Broncos aren’t supposed to go into Buffalo and beat the Bills in mid-November. That’s supposed to be a loss, most likely an embarrassing one.

But it wasn’t. Because of Payton and Wilson.

As a result, the Broncos are back. For the first time since Super Bowl 50, there’s reason to believe that something special is brewing in the Mile High City.

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After win in Buffalo, something special is brewing in Broncos Country