Here are the thoughts of the Broncos after yesterday's thrilling victory --
Head Coach Mike Shanahan --
"Those types of games can drive you crazy. The coaching staff and the players fought extremely hard and we felt very fortunate to find a way to win. I'm very proud of our football team; We never gave up. We had some adversity during the game, and we just kept fighting and found a way to win. That's the bottom line. We can always build on our mistakes. Special teams and the offense obviously moved the ball pretty well, but you have to score more points than we did, but we did do some good things. I think if you look at the rushing offense and passing offense, I think there is something to build upon. We've got to be able to put some more points on the scoreboard. Special teams were excellent as a unit. Take a look at their punt return and the four major areas of the special teams, and they're by the far No. 1 in the National Football League and we saw today why they are No.1. We've got to tighten up some loose ends and keep on fighting, but it's sure nice to come out with a victory."
On watching the field goal unit rush onto the field in the final seconds --
"Well we knew it was going to be close. We work on that all the time, but regardless if we have a first down or not, everybody was coming off the field for obvious reasons because you can't make the decision to kill it or go for it. We knew it was probably going to be fourth down with that down and distance, so we didn't have a choice. Those guys, I mean we practice it all the time and (Special Teams Coordinator) Scott O'Brien does an unbelievable job orchestrating all the scenarios there that exist on special teams. That was one of those situations and everybody's on top of it. I think we got it out with 1.2 seconds left."
On the length of time used in practicing these scenarios with special teams --
"Usually it's 17 seconds when we call it. Can you go 10 yards, take a knee, then kill the clock and get it off? To get the field goal unit on and off, it's got to be a record. I heard it was a record to run that play; I think it was about 10 or eleven seconds when we actually went out to kick it. The guys were just on top of things."
On the special teams unit being ready --
"You just have guys who are pretty sharp. It takes a sharp unit to get the snap and the hold in place, and the kicker still getting it done. It's something that you practice, but it's something that doesn't even happen in the season, and sometimes it does, and it paid off today."
On QB Jay Cutler's performance on third and fourth down plays --
"Well you're trying to make a play there, and he's trying to get the ball back to (RB) Selvin (Young), and just trying to make a play. That's what excellent players do. He has the game ball, to have that type of poise on third-and-23 and throw the slant to (WR) Javon (Walker).
On Cutler coming back after making mistakes --
"That's what you look for in a quarterback. It's what separates the good ones from the great ones, and it was a good debut for him. Obviously, he came on the road, and we moved the ball well; we did some good things. We had a few stub their toes and had a few guys at some different positions, so we just have to tighten it up and get better and better."
On going to the right side purposely frequently when running the ball --
"It really wasn't. It had a lot to do with the hash marks, and we felt pretty good about going either direction. To the right side, we wanted to slow down (Bill's RE Aaron) Schobel a little bit, so you had to keep him off balance since he's such a good pass rusher. That was our game plan going in. I don't think we slowed him down very well, he's just one heck of a football player."
On having a battle-tested kicker like Jason Elam --
"Well that's why we've got him; you don't let a guy like that go. You know he is battle-tested and regardless of how talented a young guy might be, you don't know how they're going to handle clutch situations. He's been in those situations for a number of years, so it is great to have a guy like that."
CB Champ Bailey --
It shows we have a lot of heart. We would not quit. There were a lot of times we could have quit on that drive. Third and 23. Not a lot of teams can convert that first down. But we did it and we came out with a win.
On how tight the NFL is --
We didn't even lead for a second. Before the ball went through the goal post there was nothing on the clock so we didn't even lead until the end of the game. But it doesn't matter. We came out with the W.
On playing special teams --
They needed me so I'm out there. I knew the type of returners we were facing this week and I know my abilities to go get guys like that. So I'm all for it.
On playing special teams being a one week thing --
I'm assuming I'm on it next week. You never know.
On how the team played defensively --
I think we played pretty good. Obviously, there are some areas where we can improve. We showed up today and made some plays."
CB Dre Bly --
That's what it is all about. Giving each other opportunities. We gave them the opportunity to drive the length of the field and score. They punched it in. I think Jay Cutler showed how poised he was and how much better he is getting. He's becoming very mature in his game and he's running real fast. We have a veteran defense and after playing against us all off-season it really prepared him for today. It was good and that what's teamwork is all about.
On where he was for the final play --
Me and Champ (Bailey) were towards the end of the sideline. Actually I thought we had a first down so I was saying to myself `ground it ground it.' But we didn't get a first down, so it was fourth down so we had to kick it. Then I saw (Todd Sauerbrun) running out there and he was kind of jogging so I was yelling hurry up and get lined up and he did and he got a great snap and Elam showing his poise and the veteran that he is, he made the kick. It doesn't matter how we got it but we got it and that's all that matters.
On Buffalo liking to throw deep --
Us having the guys that we have on the back end, the veterans, the secondary. Having two guys on the outside like Champ and myself that can make plays and have experience. That was our goal, to eliminate Losman and take Lee Evans out of the game and that's what we did. I think Evans had two catches for eight yards. The key is to take the ball out of his hands force them to get everyone else involved. Lee Evans is a great player and last year he was one of the most explosive guys in terms of big plays. That's what we eliminated today and our game plan worked."
QB Jay Cutler --
On how tough it was to keep his focus after the lateral --
I had to, it was do or die there. We had to get a first down and keep the chains moving or we lose the game. We practice those plays in training camp and we had to make a play there and it paid off. Normally when we practice it he's a little wider, but I got pulled up pretty quick and he was pretty close to me. But, we got it back and got a first down and won the game.
On where this win ranks in his career --
It's a big one. I've done things like this in college and high school, but nothing like this, I mean it was my first opening day NFL start. This will be one I remember for a long time.
On winning guys over on the team being so young --
I think the guys on the team have always believed in me, so I don't think I had to win them over. But, there are a lot of veterans on the team and for me to go out and do what I did puts a little more faith in them and I feel pretty good about it. I made some mistakes, I know that, but I'll learn from it and we bounced back and got the win.
On staying calm in the last drive --
Well, you do it over and over again. You do it in high school and college and you do it in practice here. It's my job to stay poised and in control, that's what quarterbacks are supposed to do. That's why we get paid the big bucks to make third downs and make two minute drives. Bronco fans know the situation well from John Elway doing it for all those years. Everyone was listening to me and everyone was on the same page.
On knowing they weren't going to spike the ball --
No, I did not know. I did not know that. We got caught up in the moment and looked over and the kicking team was running on, so we had to hurry up and get off. I knew we had a first down and could afford to spike it, but I don't know if they knew it on the sideline. But it's one of those decisions you can't wait to make and Jason made a heck of a kick."
K Jason Elam --
That's a place that Scottie (O'Brien, special teams coach) has come in and had us run those types of situations in practice. We run that play over and over in practice, never thinking we would actually run that play in a game. Sure enough we got the opportunity, perfect scenario, and I would have felt pretty bad if I would have missed that kick.
On missing two earlier field goals --
One of them was 51 yards, so I'm not really too upset about that one. I thought I hit it pretty good but it just drifted on me. The other kind of bothers me because it's one I should really make. I just didn't get my hips into it. It's not the way you want to start, but the way it ended was great.
On having time to get set for the game winning FG --
I didn't even have time to get set the way I normally do. I looked up and there was about five seconds left so I ran back to get to my spot and got to it with about one second left.
On taking his normal steps --
I don't know, I can't remember. I tried to do my normal routine and stay calm and cool. I tried to make it routine as possible, but that was hard to do.
On practicing that play in practice --
No, you can't simulate the same exact situation no matter what you do in practice. We try to make it as close as possible, but with the crowd and everything it's never the same. It's a play that we have tried to simulate and have run over and over in training camp.
On the last 20 seconds of the game --
We had no timeouts and we call the play torro. Everyone was ready and we knew what we had to do. It looks like chaos, but there is a method to the madness. I got out there with about 5 seconds left and tried to get to my spot and the next thing I knew it was going through."
RB Travis Henry --
It doesn't (get much better than that). It was a great win for us. We came through at the end there. Everybody stayed cool and we went down and kicked the field goal for the win.
On the big plays of QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall --
It's big. It's big to see quarterback Jay (Cutler), just being in his second year, take command of the huddle which he did. He was calm, poised the whole time. And he went out there and made plays to help this football team win.
On if he played with different emotions coming back to Buffalo --
Yes, I think so because this is where it all started for me. So it was good to come back to Orchard Park. The fans are great. We came out and played a good game.
On his thoughts of Bills RB Marshawn Lynch --
He's got a promising future. He made some plays on his own a couple of times. I was very impressed with his play. I think he's going to have a great future in this league.
On the last drive --
That last drive, I think defined what we're going to be and what we're all about because guys sucked it up and we knew we had to get in field goal range or score a touchdown to win. And you've got to love games like that, because if you can come out with games like that, it's going to help you out later on down the season.
On how he thought he played --
I just wanted to go in and do my thing and do whatever I can to help this team win.
On what this game does for the team --
It can be really big. It's our first time really playing a full game, other than preseason. It jumps off our season real good.
WR Brandon Marshall --
That's what football is about. Contact. I'm a wide receiver so I don't get a lot of chances to hit, but when I get a chance to, I'm going to take advantage of it.
On how it felt to get a couple catches and a touchdown --
I was ready to make a play on opening day. The opportunity was there and my number was called so I took advantage of it. Jay (Cutler) threw it up and he believed in me and I came down with it.
On his haircut --
It is one of these things, like Javon Walker says, these guys worked hard both on the field and off the field. Everyone loves them and they would do anything to be here with us. It took all the guts to come out with the win and that's what they were, all good. It is just to show the world that even if they forget we don't and to remind everybody what type of people they were. We've got Damien Nash on this side and Darrent Williams on the other. God bless them."
DE Jarvis Moss --
(The game) showed a lot of character and what we are made of. A lot of players with strong character and pride and it just showed down there. We fought the whole game and ended up pulling it out. And that is all you can ask for from your teammates just to give it their all out there.
On the final play --
That's just being prepared. The coaches had them ready for that situation. That's what coaches do all week long. They put us in situations that could come up in the game. So they were prepared for it and they executed it in the end. I'm proud of all those guys, the offense and the special teams. They fought and found a way for us to pull out a win.
On believing that the team could get the field goal off in time --
I knew they had enough time and it was just a matter of snapping the ball and Jason (Elam) getting his foot on it. He is a great kicker and they executed the play. That was the play of the day.
On his personal play --
I think I did well. I watched a lot of film and made a few plays out there. I played hard and hustled hard. I had a great time and that's what matters.
On the play of Simeon Rice --
I think he did good. He played hard. He made a couple of plays when his number was called."
WR Brandon Stokley --
Just what he always is really. Nothing changed, just like the first play to the last play. No panic or anything. It was the same Jay as he always is, just let's go make another play.
On if he was back in the huddle after the lateral
I was out there for the lateral. I was in that play and then the next play, I was still out there.
On how Cutler typically is --
He's more of a laid back guy. He's not going to panic, laid back. I think that was big especially for a young quarterback to comeback after that lateral. It looked bad. I can imagine what it looked like from the sideline. To come back from that play and get a first down, then to drive us down the field and get that field goal that's just veteran stuff right there. Find a way to win, that's what it's all about.
On if this is better than winning by a large margin --
You come from behind. You're down and you just make plays to win the game. It wasn't pretty but we made enough plays to win the game.
I was kind of hoping we would spike it, because it was a first down. But there was so much chaos and we already decided that we were going to run the field goal unit out there. I was just looking at the clock. I just looked up and saw the ball sail through. It was a win."
WR Javon Walker --
I tell you what, it's better than starting off 0-1. Obviously like they say, a win's, a win in the NFL no matter if it's by 20 or no matter if it's by three or one. But I think it showed a lot of character in this team, what you can do when you're down. And you know, a couple minutes left and our quarterback led us. We pulled together and got a win.
On the team's last drive --
Sometimes two-minute is the hardest part of your offense and we went down and executed according as planned. That's stuff we work on during practice and it feels good to get a win in that way. I think the toughest win you can get, we did it tonight.
On what this win means to the team --
This belt is a symbol of two guys who worked hard, would have done anything to be there tonight with us and give it all they got. I'm just happy to be part of a win like this. You know we all pulled together and these two guys on my shoulder would have done the same.
On if it was frustrating knowing they weren't moving the ball early on --
It's tough, but like I said, if you can get a win and then come back and correct some things going into next week's game then you know it makes your season a little bit easier. I think in this NFL league as far as the months you've been practicing, even the preseason games, if you can get that first win out of your way then you can capitalize for success the next week.
On Travis Henry's play --
Travis a guy you know, self-explanatory. That's why they brought him in. He's a good running back, matter of fact, he's a beast of a running back. He's strong, he's physical. He puts a lot of punishment on defenses. Anytime you've got a guy that runs the ball like that, anytime you've got a quarterback and receivers like myself and Brandon Stokley and when we get Rod [Smith] back, you know a lot of great things can happen."