The Denver Broncos that just defeated the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football look absolutely nothing like the team that took the field in the month of September. There is a saying about something having a night and day difference, and that might not even properly describe what is going on here.
The Broncos lost to the Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders to start the year 0-2. Then after having the Miami Dolphins drop 70 points on them, things somehow hit an even lower point when the New York Jets, with Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator, came into Denver and got a win.
Sean Payton and his team took their lumps and decided to fight back. Payton needed to take those beatings to realize what he had, and now he has a much better grasp of exactly what he has.
The team chose not to make any moves ahead of the league's trade deadline, a decision that many questioned. But Payton knew what he had and either wanted a lot more than teams were willing to give or wasn't willing to deal at all.
The on-field product is now much different. The personnel is in the right place much more often. The play-calling is much different and more importantly, those plays are called with so much more confidence.
The Broncos have now gotten back-to-back wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. Since the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, those have been two of the most successful teams in the AFC. Now Payton knows that his squad, which isn't even fully built the way he wants it, can compete with those teams.
The Broncos, who were looking at having one of the top picks in the 2024 NFL Draft (maybe even No. 1 overall), will now shift their focus to competing for a playoff spot this season. The schedule does feature some tough challenges but wins over the Chiefs and Bills should have this team's confidence sky high no matter which team is on the other side of the field.
This is what was envisioned when Payton was hired as the team's head coach. This in-season transformation by this team is remarkable and Broncos Country can smile on Tuesday morning (and going forward) knowing that this team is definitely headed in the right direction.