ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In a standout season, cornerback Pat Surtain II found success in nearly every matchup.
The 2021 ninth-overall pick earned first-team All-Pro honors and his first Pro Bowl berth, and he shut down a number of top receivers.
But as any NFL player knows, not every game is going to be perfect.
In the Broncos' Week 11 overtime loss to the Raiders, Surtain was in coverage on Davante Adams' game-winning touchdown — and he acknowledged Thursday that difficult plays can happen when facing the game's top receivers.
"That's the toughest part of the position," Surtain said Thursday. "Sometimes stuff like that happens, but you've got to have short-term memory at that position. You learn from your mistakes and move on. That's why you see another day. You just live with it, work on what you need to work on and correct that so that the following year [or] following weeks, it won't happen again."
Surtain said moving forward is important, particularly to avoid letting a previous play impact the next.
"I do have short-term memory," Surtain said. "I know what I do on the field. I just try to let those things go in a fast period of time, because football, one play could change the game. If you focus on the previous plays or the past plays, it could affect your game. So you've just got to move on with it."
Surtain said last year's game didn't impact his confidence and that he simply worked in the film room to move ahead to future weeks. As fellow All-Pro teammate Justin Simmons explained, that's how a top cornerback must respond in the NFL.
"Adams is a top-tier, elite receiver," Simmons said Wednesday. "Obviously Pat's an elite corner. Plays like that are bound to happen. There's plays that Pat has won one-on-one, and there's plays Adams has won one-on-one. Pat's going to have plenty more plays on the positive end, and I'm sure he'll have a couple more on the negative side, too. It's just how the league goes. I like Pat — I like the way that he competes, I like the way that he plays. That play has no bearing on him as a player, and he'll have plenty more positives — more positives than negatives, for sure."
While Surtain may be unfazed by last year's matchup, that doesn't diminish the challenge he will face against Adams this weekend.
"I just think that he's a technician out there," Surtain said. "He's been in the league for some time now, so he's very smart in his craft. With guys like that, you've got to watch a lot of film on them, get a bead on it, so by the time the game comes, you already know their next move."
Surtain, though, also emphasized the matchup extends beyond just a one-on-one battle between him and the Raiders' All-Pro receiver.
"We'll be put to the test early, but we'll be ready for it," Surtain said.
MAKING GOOD DECISIONS
As wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. approaches his first NFL game, he'll asked to be do more than just contribute on offense. The second-round pick is also listed as the team's starting punt and kick returner, and he'll look to play with a poise that is sometimes uncommon among rookie returners.
Special Teams Coordinator Ben Kotwica said he hasn't seen Mims struggle with decision-making on when to field punts or kickoffs, and he hopes to see that translate to Denver's Week 1 game.
"That struggle, I haven't seen," Kotwica said. "Hopefully that continues on, not only in the punt-return game but in the kickoff-return game as well. Marvin has a great maturity about him and a great work ethic, so that mitigates any of the concerns that you might have. Sometimes you don't know, but I don't have any indication that he's going to struggle in that area of the game. He's done a great job of catching the football, and obviously, he has enough talent to be a big-play asset for us."