It’s been dour around Broncos headquarters the past month or so. The natural balance of life says it’s time to look at the bright side.
So here you go: The New England Patriots are not as good as the Philadelphia Eagles. They can’t be. And the friendly confines of eventually to be renamed Sports Authority Field Mile High is a much nicer place to play than Philadelphia.
As non-competitive as the Broncos were last Sunday while getting drubbed, 51-23 at Philadelphia, they do not figure to get embarrassed before their home fans and primetime televised audience against the Pats.
“I’m sure we’re not going to see anything close to what happened last week in Philadelphia,’’ said Pats’ coach Bill Belichick. “I know we’ll get their best effort. They have a lot of great players that will compete hard and are tough. I feel like we’re going to have to play our best game of the year this weekend.”
Step one in the Broncos’ comeback attempt was to get over last week. It wasn’t easy for Broncos players.
“It’s one of the biggest losses of my career,’’ said Von Miller, the Broncos’ top defensive player who has 8.0 sacks through eight games. “I don’t think it’s just something that you just totally forget. I’m sure as a team, and I’m sure as a defense, you forget stuff like that. But me and being the guy that I am, I always remember that because I never want to experience that again. Just use that to drive me in games going forward.’’
Fans can stew all week. Players tend to move on quicker. Still, Broncos’ receiver Demaryius Thomas said it took a full 24 hours for the dark Philly cloud to dissipate.
“After the plane ride back home, a couple guys were talking about it, I overheard it, you have guys talking about what we did wrong, what we could have done better,’’ Thomas said Thursday in a sit-down interview with 9News. “Because we’re able to watch film on the plane. So, I would say really that Monday after we all came in together and watched everything, pointed out our mistakes and do whatever it is to get better as a group. Everybody had the option to tell you what we could have done better here. And after that meeting it was over with and onto the Pats.’’
“It is behind us, as a team and as a whole, it’s behind us, and we’re not too worried about that,’’ Miller said. “We have another great opportunity to go against arguably the best football team in the NFL. We have a huge opportunity again, so you can’t stay caught in the past. We have a huge game coming up this week and if we can get this one, it’ll be wonderful. It truly will be.”
The Eagles, not the Patriots, are the best team in football. The Pats are not as explosive as the Carson Wentz college offense that gave the Denver D fits, and nowhere as dominant on defense.
I’m not saying the Broncos, who are 7.5-point underdogs, will beat the Patriots. But they should at least make them sweat. They better or that home crowd won’t be so friendly.