If there is ever an NFL team with a true “12th man,” I have to believe it is the Denver Broncos.
Because there is no better home field advantage - in my biased but still very educated opinion - than the Broncos at Mile High.
Players know it. Coaches know it. And you can bet fans know it.
“For a visiting team, this is a tough place to play. We all know that the challenge for a team on a road is crowd noise. We have a very educated fan base. They know how to let us hear a pin drop when we’re on offense, but then crank it up when we’re on defense,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur noted Thursday. “I’m looking forward to our fans putting a little pressure on them. I think it’s going to be an exciting time.”
For the first time in a few years, Broncos Country is thinking this year’s team might be different than the past four - and that has fans wanting to believe it’s a contender.
And after a year with no fans in the stands, four years of losing seasons, and an average ticket price over $105, the Mile High crowd is anxious for some good football and great wins at home.
And the Broncos know they need to build on the 2-0 start to keep fans excited about this rejuvenated team.
But Von Miller would like you to know he has a few expectations for Sunday’s home opener - it better be wild up in there.
“I expect it to be crazy. I expect it to be ridiculous. I expect it to be like the glory days,” he said, recalling basically the Peyton Manning years. “I expect it to be like that. We’re coming in 2-0, and Broncos Country has seen the type of football that we’ve played over the last two weeks. Now we’re coming home, and I expect it to be rowdy, I expect it to be crazy. I expect it to be a great atmosphere to go play football.”
Malik Reed, who came in 2019 and has only really experienced one year of that Mile High crowd, is definitely looking forward to some Mile High magic after a year without.
“It’s been kind of tough the past few years. Broncos Country—no matter what, they’re going to support and be out there. Having won these last two games, we’re expecting a big turnout on Sunday and we’re expecting the crowd to be rocking,” he said. “For the defense, that’s a big key on those third downs. They’re getting loud. And for the [Jets’] offense, it’s hard for them to communicate on the snap. It’s giving us that much more of an advantage.”
Justin Simmons, who has been around long enough to experience a 2-0 start that fizzled, using the home field advantage to keeping the momentum going is real.
“Oh yeah, it’s extremely important. I can’t even remember—not to make a dramatic—but I can’t even remember the last time I was this excited to go back home,” Simmons said. “We’re talking about after a whole season of no fans and the play being what it’s been the past few years. I’m really excited. ...coming back home to what we know is going to be a sold-out stadium and just deafening loud. I’m so excited to see Broncos Country on Sunday.”
OK, #BroncosCountry...let us know if you're going to the game Sunday, what lucky jersey you're wearing and what cheer you've missed doing the most...#ReunitedInOrange #12thMan #NYJvsDEN https://t.co/EUxo3wSBfA— Doctor of Words (and tights) (@docllv) September 24, 2021
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“It’s so cool to be able to cheer him on. He’s cheered me on for so many years. … Now I get to be his biggest fan.”@gbolles72’s Part II: How his family is overcoming his son’s apraxia of speech diagnosis » https://t.co/m1CTyiYY16#PowerfulConnections pic.twitter.com/tlKucZZSoF— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 24, 2021
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