ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – The Broncos' Monday work is always used to correct the mistakes they've made in the previous game. They study the film, work out the kinks and hope this attention to mistakes will help avoid repeating them.
But after that Monday practice, the Broncos had to put the memory of their loss to the Oakland Raiders behind them. Because dwelling on losses takes attention away from their next opponent -- in this case the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team on an upward trajectory within the AFC.
Add that to the fact that there's only three games left in the regular season and playoff berths are on the line.
"Every game down the stretch is going to be a big game. We all know it," said wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. "It's playoff football right now. We have to handle business. Obviously, we dropped an egg versus Oakland and we had an opportunity to be first place in the AFC. We dropped an egg, like I said, so what can we do about it? We can't do anything. We can't carry that luggage. We can only move forward. It's on to Pittsburgh."
Sunday's 15-12 loss to Oakland was a first for quarterback Brock Osweiler, who will make his fifth start this Sunday in hopes of improving to 4-1 as a starter for the Broncos.
"I think the entire offense responded very well," Osweiler said. "Like I said earlier, today we had a great practice. I thought that the focus was great. I thought the energy was great. Guys have moved on past the Raiders game and they have their focus where it needs to be."
What the photographers saw in the Broncos' first loss to the Raiders since 2011.
With a win in Week 15, the Broncos earn a spot in the playoffs, but they'll need a little help from the Baltimore Ravens if they want to clinch the division. A win this weekend and a Kansas City Chiefs loss or tie in Baltimore would crown the Broncos as AFC West champions.
"This is when the season is the most important—the end of the season," said cornerback Bradley Roby. "That's when you play your best football. That's when you determine where you're going to bea in the playoffs, is in these games, so we have to take them seriously."