Good morning, 1-0 Broncos Country!
What a win. OMG, what an unbelievable win! And even when we seemed to do our best to try and lose it, karma just would not have it.
Whether the football gods had been feeling guilty for all the recent Hall-of-Fame snubs to the Broncos, or they didn't like constant holding of Von Miller off the edge, or they felt a little bad that the Broncos defenders apparently didn't know how to count all the way up to 12, they were on our side last night, showing up just in time to direct that final field goal slightly to the left.
Thank you, football gods, thank you.
Many of you know I was at that game last night, and as such, I am way too tired to put together a coherent Horse Tracks for you.
But as I do not want to let you down completely, I will tell you three things I learned from last night's 21-20 win-by-a-smidge from our heart-attack-inducing Broncos:
1. DeMarcus Ware is still a beast.
The original sack master got the first sack of the night and finished with 1.5 total. Plus he added one tackle for a loss and two QB hurries.
More importantly, his first takedown of the night - and the Broncos' first real disruptive defensive play of the game - helped change the mood of the defense and put it back on a track toward dominance.
"You taste that blood and you say: ‘Hey, let's go out there. We're able to get pressure on him. We're figuring things out,'" Ware said. "And that second half, we got pressure on him."
2. We are going to be OK. More than OK.
This is not a new sentiment by me, for sure. However, with so many unknowns going into this season, it's downright rewarding to watch a young team with a lot of weight on its shoulders, come out on top. And to do it against one of the best - and a team with revenge on its mind - should not be underestimated.
And although the Broncos squeaked out a win thanks to a little luck and well-timed call for a timeout, they did that against a very solid and well-rounded team with weapons galore - Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin, Jonathan Stewart, Greg Olsen, Luke Kuechly, Kony Ealey...you name him, and the Panthers player is probably not just good but really good (and thankfully, our players were just a little better.)
But if our young quarterback and relatively new offensive line can come from behind in a grinding football game and pull out a victory like that, then we'll be fine.
"To come in here tonight and make the mistakes we made, and survive, it's a really good feeling," coach Gary Kubiak said after the game. "We have a lot of work to do if we are going to be a consistent football team and I know we can be. We're going to go fix those mistakes."
Get your rally caps, Broncos Country,because we a re in for a bumpy but fun ride.
3. Mile High Magic is freakin' real ...
Because how else do you explain that missed field goal?
Don't bring physics into this. That will ruin my point and my fabulously good mood.
No, that missed kick - just moments after Graham Gano had sailed one through to what would have won the game - was a direct result of Mile High Magic, and I will not be convinced otherwise.
And that crowd noise all game??? I have no voice this morning because I was screaming the entire game. And during that last Panthers' drive, the crowd noise was deafening. And so awesome!
OK, Broncos Country, I know you have lots more highlights/things you learned about our team to share - rookie fullbacks scoring touchdowns comes to mind - so now it's your turn!
How the Broncos kept calm and carried on in their win over the Panthers
"Everybody was messing up," said Chris Harris Jr., but the Broncos fixed their problems and pulled it together in time for a 21-20 win.
Broncos defense comes up clutch to earn hard fought victory
When the bravado wore away, the Broncos' defense was left looking around for answers in an early fight. Just as they did time and time again last season, they punched back and finally delivered the knockout blow.
Panthers vs. Broncos - Game Recap - September 8, 2016 - ESPN
Get a recap of the Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos football game.
Trevor Siemian of Denver Broncos clutch with 2 TD drives in fourth
Trevor Siemian never lost his composure Thursday night and showed why the Broncos picked him as Peyton Manning's replacement in a tense 21-20 victory over the Panthers.
Carolina Panthers say helmet hits to Cam Newton abound, calls scarce
Several Carolina Panthers say Cam Newton was being targeted with helmet-to-helmet hits Thursday night and the officials weren't doing enough to prevent it. cked him as Peyton Manning's replacement in a tense 21-20 victory over the Panthers.
Von Miller dons first-ever pair of 'Yeezy' cleats in NFL opener
Denver Broncos star Von Miller tweeted out a thank-you to artist Kanye West showing off new Yeezy cleats that he wore in Thursday night's NFL season opener. After the win, you just might see those again.
Trevor Siemian least of Denver Broncos' worries on opening night
The 24-year-old rebounded from two interceptions for a solid outing -- and victory over the Panthers -- in his first NFL start.
Brandon Marshall of Denver Broncos kneels during national anthem
Brandon Marshall knelt during the national anthem, a move the Broncos said they "understand and respect" since it's a personal decision.
Kiszla: Did Von Miller leave permanent scar on Cam Newton's ego in Super Bowl 50?
The short answer to how the Broncos upset Carolina and won the NFL championship: Von Miller kicked Cam Newton’s awesome six ways to Super Bowl Sunday.
Defense's big plays key Broncos victory in season opener vs. Panthers
With a new quarterback, Trevor Siemian, and new faces on both sides of the ball, the Broncos held off Carolina, 21-20, in the Super Bowl rematch at Sports Authority Field. The Panthers' Graham Gano was wide left on a 50-yard field goal in the final seconds.