On Sunday night the Denver Broncos’ offense really woke up, and Russell Wilson started cooking.
Granted, he was slow-cooking. We got the exciting drive that brought us to the redzone and ended in a touchdown. It’s the drive we’d been waiting for since week 1, and it took until the fourth quarter to get there — and it mattered thanks to the efforts of Denver’s secondary.
Following the game, several Broncos players, along with HC Nathaniel Hackett, met with the press and discussed the high-level performance of their D, the offense’s ability to pull through in critical moments, and the importance of keeping this momentum and getting even better.
“It was like a dog fight out there,” defensive lineman Mike Purcell shared. “It was about who was going to bend first, who was going to break first, and we didn’t break at all.”
P.J. Locke, safety behind Caden Sterns (while Justin Simmons is on injury reserve), said their performance speaks to the preparation of the team and the leaders. He also expressed gratitude for getting some time on the field last night.
“I am just thankful for the opportunity. At some point my number is going to be called and I am going to be ready. I think I proved that tonight and I am going to continue to prove that.”
It really was a team effort, of course. The defense certainly felt pressure as the offense struggled last night, but DE Dre’Mont Jones recalled the trust they had in their whole team. At the end of the day, you need effort from both sides to win, and at the end of the day, both sides delivered.
“We always keep our head high,” Jones said, “We always motivate each other on the sideline. There is never a point in that game where we are just going against each other....We have faith in them no matter what. As long as the game has time, we believe.”
Meanwhile, ILB Josey Jewell, who had been day-to-day with a calf injury, spoke on their multiple turnovers and gave a lot of credit to DC Ejiro Evero.
“Evero has been harping about getting the ball out. We try to always punch the ball out because turnovers are huge in the game,” he explained, “It slows them down, especially when they are driving a bit. Coach has done a great job with that so far.”
Jewell also admitted that while they’re excited about the win, this is just the beginning of the season and they have many many games ahead of them.
“I think there are a lot of strengths. I think we are trying to keep things one day at a time and keep on trucking,” Jewell said, “Our front seven is awesome. We have some big guys up front and great communication on the back end.”
“We just want to keep getting better every day and see where that ranks us. We do not want to take any steps back,” he continued.
S Kareem Jackson echoed these sentiments.
“We’re only three games in. I mean, that’s what we pride ourselves on,” he said. “That’s what we work for every day. Just coming out and being a dominant defense, the personnel we have on the field.”
Jackson described the importance of translating their film study to the field, noting the satisfaction with how it translated last night. “We knew they were going to come out and give us a bunch of different personnel, a lot of motions, a bunch of different looks,” he said, “I think we handled it well early, and we were able to make some plays, and we pulled a win out.”
The Broncos are now atop the AFC West, tied for first with the Chiefs for record but second overall since the Chiefs have a divisional victory. We’ll see how that pans out after the Broncos travel to Las Vegas this weekend.