Winless Broncos put historic loss in rearview as they prepare for basement brawl with Bears

Wed, Sep 27, 2023
NFL News (AP)

Winless Broncos put historic loss in rearview as they prepare for basement brawl with Bears

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - How do the Denver Broncos go about getting over their 50-point blowout at Miami? The same way they went about recovering from their one-point loss to the Raiders in their opener.

"Any loss is tough, but you've got to be professional about it, you've got to be able to move on, you've got to be able to focus on what the task is at hand," Russell Wilson said Wednesday after the Broncos (0-3) began preparations for their basement battle with the Chicago Bears (0-3), another team in crisis mode and in search of both answers and their first win.

Win, lose or tie, NFL players are conditioned to watching the video and making corrections the next day, getting away from it all on their day off and then showing back up on Wednesday looking ahead, not behind.

So, the mood in the locker room after what coach Sean Payton called a spirited practice was no different coming off the Broncos' 70-20 backbreaker than it was coming back from their 17-16 heartbreaker in Week 1.

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"I understand that Sunday was not what we wanted it to be but to come in here and hang your head three games into the season is crazy to me," right tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "You know, we're trying to figure this thing out. Obviously, it's year one of our tenure with coach Payton and we're all trying to figure this thing out and grow. But to come in here and act like the sky's falling or the season's over after three weeks is absolutely insane."

That's not to say they're taking lightly the franchise's second-worst blowout of the Super Bowl era, behind only a 51-0 loss to the Raiders in 1967.

"It was a big bump," McGlinchey said, "but it's a bump in the road and we're all going to grow and we're going to be better. And the only thing you can do is come into work with a positive attitude and get better."

The Broncos have been stuck in a rut ever since winning Super Bowl 50 in 2016. They've churned through coaches and quarterbacks during a seven-year slump that includes losing seasons each of the last six years.

McGlinchey, however, has experienced success. He signed with Denver in the offseason after a five-year run in San Francisco, where the 49ers stumbled to a 3-4 start a year ago before winning 12 in a row to reach the NFC championship.

McGlinchey's message to his teammates was all that's needed is one win and that can turn around a franchise's fortunes.

"There's so many crazy things that can happen in this league and there's so many different scenarios that can play out. And the only thing that you have control over is the way that you prepare for the week ahead of you," McGlinchey said.

"And to start worrying about what happens in December or worrying about what happens in three weeks is nuts because things can happen, you can get humbled pretty quickly, no matter who you're playing. And so all of your focus needs to be on the week at hand, the opponent at hand, which is Chicago, and we're gonna give it our best shot to go in and get a win. "

One thing that could help the Broncos bounce back is star safety Justin Simmons returning from a hip injury that sidelined him in Miami.

"The loss was bad, I mean really bad," Simmons said after returning to practice Wednesday. "But the moral of the story is this next game can't come fast enough. And a win just kind of cures all things. ... And so for us, Sunday's a new slate, a new opponent."

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

ARNIE MELENDREZ STAPLETON Arnie is an NFL writer based in Denver twitter mailto "
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