The kickoff countdown has been on since that fateful 70-yard bomb from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones last January. Walking out to the parking lot that night, there was mostly silence. However, the whispers that sank in the frigid air spoke mainly of revenge and of getting another shot.
Aside from the huge Flacco banner on the south side of Sports Authority Field, the NFL has done it right. This is week one’s main act and should have a spot on the golden stage, the 2013 NFL season opener.
“Anytime you can play the defending champs, you always want to play them,” Broncos cornerback Chris Harris said. “Of course, I know they still want to play us too. We’ve got a target on our backs just like they do. We know it’s going to be a war and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
The Broncos downplayed the meaning of Thursday’s game in terms of it being a retribution game.
“Everybody has to remember that it’s just football,” defensive end Derek Wolfe said. “We’ve been playing this game a long time and it’s just another game.”
“For me it’s the biggest game of the year because it’s the next one up,” rookie defensive tackle Sylvester Williams added. “That’s how I approach every game. At this point it’s the biggest one of my life.”
While the focus is on the 2013 season, the Broncos will have the chance to brush away some of the lingering gut-wrenching feelings from last season.
“We’ve moved past that,” John Fox said. “We’re on to this year. Like any mistakes—as I tell guys all the time—first of all, you admit them. Second of all, you fix them. And third of all, you don’t let them happen again.”
Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but not in this one. This payback has been planned for nearly eight months. There’s a picture of Chris Harris (above) that says so.