Denver is a Broncos city. While football doesn’t define a great city, nothing brings a sense of community to Denver more than football. So this Sunday, at a stadium on Federal Boulevard, when 75,000 fans are reunited with the team in orange for the first time since COVID-19 has torn us apart, how cool is it going to feel?
“It’s going to be good. We love Broncos country, Broncos country loves us. Getting there 2-0 would be fantastic. I know the fans can appreciate it. We just got to ride the wave.” Will keep trying,” said linebacker Von Miller.
During the pandemic, we have all made sacrifices, all experienced the loss, all felt isolated, all wondered when it would be time to go to a big party again.
For the Broncos and everyone who loves them in this football-crazed city, that time has come.
Denver vs hapless New York Jets, slated to start a few ticking of the clock after 2 p.m. go a little crazy. When was the last time the Broncos, in five long years without a playoff appearance, were double-digit favorites against any foe?
How happiness is defined in the home opener of the 2021 NFL season may be as unique as each of the 75,000 fans in attendance and the 11 Denver players who take the field for the opening kickoff, at the Mile High Rocks and Rolls Ride as Empower Field. An orange wave of emotions.
Maybe that joy can be defined as something as simple as the exchange of a fist bump in the South Stand between fans who haven’t seen each other since the coronavirus. had put a nail between us. Or perhaps it’s a return to hope that big things are possible again in Broncos country, a sense of hope that new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has established with back-to-back road victories.
But what will make me smile will be the sight of every number 14 and number 58 jersey proudly worn throughout the stadium, welcoming Cortland Sutton and Von Miller to injuries that have crushed the team’s chances of success in 2020.
“You talk about ‘Court’, how they’ve worked, the sacrifices they’ve made to get back to the point,” Bridgewater said.
After playing only 31 snaps in 2020 before tearing his ACL while attempting a tackle after an interception, Sutton made a bold statement in Week 2 in Jacksonville, nine for 159 yards nearly a year before his injury. Got caught.
“Mentally, there’s nothing quite like being successful in sports. Mentally, you can say: ‘I’m back, I can do this,'” said Miller, who spent last season at the team’s indoor facility. Missed with a strange injury on the field where the Broncos were practicing during a freak September snowfall.
While Bridgewater’s impact on the team’s 2-0 start can’t be underestimated, what could have an even bigger impact on the Broncos going forward is the return of Sutton and Miller to their Pro Bowl form.
Bridgewater, who saw his own career threatened by injury in 2016, often talks about the sense of purpose athletes such as Miller and Sutton bring after fighting back to resume a sport that they love At Miller and Sutton, the sense of urgency felt by the most talented player on each side of football for the Broncos can permeate and inspire the locker room.
“I thank God every day to be in the position I am in now because a lot of hard work has gone into it,” Sutton said. “And a lot of support staff from the trainers, my family, my friends. I have so many people in my corner who are supporting me throughout the process. And to be able to go out there and compete in the Games, it’s just a blessing. “
Fearless Prediction: If Sutton and Miller both go to the Pro Bowl, the Broncos will follow them in the NFL playoffs.
“If we can play our best ball, I feel comfortable with our odds in any game. We have a great team, we have great fans,” said Miller, whose three sacks in two games has been an exclamation point on his clean bill of health. “It would be nice to be back at Mile High and play in front of those guys. I know it’s going to be awesome and I’m looking forward to it.”