ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos prepared to head to Kansas City in search of their first win over the Chiefs since 2015, President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway says his hope for this matchup and the remaining games this season is simple.
What he wants is to see is the Broncos playing more consistently.
"I think we're all hoping that we can continue to try to play better than we are," Elway told DenverBroncos.com's Phil Milani. "I think that's the key thing, is [to] play a little more consistently. We've had some good streaks, some good quarters, and to try to put a full four quarters together this week would be great. Obviously we're going against a very, very good football team in the defending world champs, so we've got our hands full, but I think the key thing is to try to play more-consistent football and hopefully get out of Kansas City with a win."
Winning at Arrowhead Stadium has been no easy feat for any team regardless of the year, but that's especially been the case during their current run with quarterback Patrick Mahomes under center. And this year, the Chiefs may be even tougher than in previous years, Elway said.
"It has been [a long time], and they're a great football team and they're playing well now," Elway said. "There's no hangover for them, as far as being world champs. They're playing better now than they did last year. So I think any time you can go in and compete and if we get out of there with a win against a team like that, it would bolster our confidence and be a good win for our young team."
Compared to a week ago, the Broncos are already in better position to compete since they'll almost assuredly have at least one quarterback available on the roster. Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week after being placed on it just a day before the Week 12 game vs. New Orleans.
Elway told Milani that he appreciated the way that Lock has owned up to that disappointment during his recent press conference, and he added that he hopes the quarterbacks will be able to put that mistake behind them with a fine performance during Sunday's game.
"I think that he's done a nice job in the way that he's answered all the questions, and obviously there's probably no one more disappointed about it than him, as well as all the quarterbacks," Elway said. "So they realize that the situation that they didn't handle right, it cost not only them, but it cost … our football team, too. I think that's punishment enough for those guys. They realize that, and hopefully we can put that behind us and come out and play better this week."
As for the quarterback who did end up playing against New Orleans — practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton — Elway said he did "a heck of a job" taking on the challenge on such short notice.
"He went in there and competed," Elway said. "… From the practice squad to the starting quarterback had to be probably a bigger jump than anybody's ever made, knowing especially 24 hours before we play. So he did a tremendous job and competed and did the best he could."
Perhaps lost somewhat in all the excitement around the quarterback situation a week ago was the four-year contract extension that left tackle Garett Bolles signed on Saturday. Bolles' performance in 2020 has been a remarkable turnaround for the fourth-year player, who has become one of the top players at his position.
"It was important for us to solidify that offensive line and that position," Elway said. "I'm happy for Garett and the fact that he played so well this year — a very well-deserved contract. And I think not only what we saw in Garett as a player but also [that] he wants to be great … that'll help ... give that confidence to him, and hopefully he continues to play like he's playing this year and even get better."