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Broncos desperate to prove they're better than Sunday's shutout loss


CARSON, Calif. —** The pain of being on the losing end of Sunday's 21-0 loss was written on the Broncos' faces.

They were beaten up and frustrated all day, and those feelings emanated from the players in the locker room after falling to the Chargers.

"Of course we're angry," Chris Harris Jr. said. "You lose in the division and you're never happy with that. If you can't really make a play or they make it hard for you to make plays out there, it's just like you're [not] out there."

Photos by the Broncos' photographers of Sunday's game against the Chargers. (photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)

And as the mistakes and woes persisted from one quarter to the next, they compounded and left the Broncos staring at the kind of scoreless game they had avoided for 25 years.

"Being shut out, period, in the NFL with the talent we have, it just hurt," Demaryius Thomas said. "I can just speak on myself. I can't speak on everybody. It hurt."

Still, in spite of losing a second consecutive game, the Broncos know they're better than what the past two games have shown.

"Absolutely, I feel we're better than that," Head Coach Vance Joseph said. "But it's the NFL. You are what you are. We are 3-3 right now. Three wins, three losses. We've earned them all."

To show that, the Broncos will have to prove it over a stretch of games beginning with a "Monday Night Football" clash in Kansas City before heading to Philadelphia and then returning home to host the Patriots.

Proving that "the past two weeks is not us," as Thomas said Sunday, will be a difficult challenge against that slate of opponents, and the corrections will have to be made immediately.

"We start with the details and then everything else will come in," Thomas said. "It's critical. It's a desperate point right now. We lost our first division game, and we're two and one, but still — and I can only speak on offense — as an offense, we ain't playing our best ball. And we've got to be better."

For veterans like Domata Peko Sr., those changes start at an individual level and grow outward from there.

"I'm mad and frustrated, you know, but at the same time, I just want to look at the mirror and see how I can improve myself," Peko said. "That's how we're going to get better. … It's about, how can you get better?"

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