What. A. Win.
It was by no means pretty, but that doesn’t matter; especially after the last seven years plus. The fact the Denver Broncos just went on the road to beat the Buffalo Bills 24-22 is huge. Freaking huge.
Regardless of how the last eight games play out for the Broncos, it’s exciting to feel excited again.
Here’s what we learned from Denver’s win on Monday night.
Competent coaching matters
The Broncos finally have a competent head coach and coaching staff. And we’re seeing the results. Denver doesn’t win this game without Sean Payton as the head coach, especially who has been in this position for this franchise the last seven seasons.
I also have a feeling the Broncos will continue to get even better as the players learn Payton and he continues to learn his players.
Broncos offense did enough
Much like the game, it wasn’t pretty for Russell Wilson and the guys on offense. But when plays needed to be made, Wilson and Denver made them.
And credit to Wilson and the offense for driving down the field to get the game-winning field goal after the defense gave up the go-ahead touchdown.
It would be nice to see more deep shots, but it’s hard to tell what was going on with coverage and routes. Of course, Wilson faced a pretty consistent pass rush all game long as well.
No doubt Payton will expect more. The fact the offense couldn’t convert four turnovers and turnover on downs into more points is a concern, but not after this win.
Denver’s defense showed up and showed out
In the last two games, the Broncos have created nine takeaways. That’s how you beat two top teams in the NFL.
The run defense was leaky, to say the least, but to create four turnovers on the road and hold the Bills to 22 points is a win. On top of the win.
Courtland Sutton’s toe drag was special
The play and throw was vintage Russ, but the catch was one of the best, if not the best, toe drags ever. As someone said on social media, I’m incredibly thankful Sutton wore orange shoes.
What a play by Wilson and what a remarkable catch by Sutton.
Kicking game after Monday night is a concern
To miss two extra points and a potential game-winning field goal is never good. Thankfully the Bills bailed Will Lutz out by having 12 men on the field for the first attempt.
What’s really weird is how smooth the end-of-the-half field goal was for the Broncos special teams in the second quarter.
Still, the kicking game needs some work.
Marvin Mims was big as a returner
Mims’s returns were huge for Denver on Monday. They helped give Denver great field position in a game that was predicated on good field position.
It’s time to start getting him involved in the offense more. And can we please take the end-around to Mims and throw it in the trash?
We’ve seen what Mims can do as a deep-threat receiver, see the Washington Commanders game. Payton has talked about getting Mims more touches, it’s time to give them to him.
Too many penalties
One of the main reasons the Broncos struggled on offense is the stupid penalties, mostly on the offensive line for false starts. As Payton said after the game, this needs to get cleaned up going forward.
Javonte Williams is a bad man
The Broncos running back had some serious runs and took some serious hits in the process. But Williams is a big reason why Denver won this game.
Williams finished with 79 yards on 21 carries and four catches for 31 yards including a 3-yard touchdown.
What a game from Williams.
Can the Broncos make a push for the playoffs?
At 4-5, Denver still has some work to do to get in the hunt for the playoffs. And the schedule doesn’t get any easier.
But the last two wins for the Broncos are freaking huge. They’re massive for confidence and belief in what Payton is coaching and what this team is capable of.
I have no idea if Denver will make a run at the playoffs, but I’m damn excited to see how the last eight games play out.