ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — In the aftermath of a Week 7 Broncos win over Green Bay, wide receiver Courtland Sutton stood in Denver's locker room and acknowledged many would not still believe what the team could accomplish this season.
At 1-5 prior to that game, the hole the Broncos dug themselves appeared too great. That game, a 19-17 decision over the Packers, felt like a nice win — a small reward for Denver in a season that had not gone its way. A sign of things to come, though? The odds were still stacked against them. Sutton, though, was among the players to maintain his belief.
That Sutton postgame media availability seemed to be a distant memory on Monday night, as the Broncos defeated the Bills 24-22 to earn a thrilling, come-from-behind win. The victory was Denver's third consecutive win, and a pair of wins over the Chiefs and Bills has vaulted the Broncos back into postseason contention. After a 1-5 start, Denver's playoff odds are again in the double-digits, according to the New York Times.
Denver's win ended in dramatic fashion, as the Broncos needed a last-second field goal to overcome their first deficit in the game. As Wil Lutz's kick went through the uprights — his second attempt, courtesy of a penalty on the Bills — players spilled onto the field and continued the party in the locker room, where music throbbed through the walls and out into the visiting media room.
"We're going to celebrate," quarterback Russell Wilson said. "We're going to have some fun. This is a huge one. This is a good football team we just played. Obviously, the past couple weeks we've been playing some really good teams. To beat the Chiefs, to beat these guys, [that] sets the standard of who we should be and who we can be and who we're going to be."
Ahead of Denver's win over the Bills, safety Justin Simmons acknowledged the Broncos would need to find ways to beat teams like Buffalo if they wanted to make a run at the postseason. Via four takeaways and a late game-winning drive, the Broncos were able to earn that win and secure their first prime-time road win since 2020.
"This is a special win," tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "We had two really special wins in a row, and watch out for the Denver Broncos."
Head Coach Sean Payton again mentioned the fine line between a groove and a rut after Monday's win, and the Broncos seem to be on the correct side of that delineating marker. In the biggest moments on Monday, the Broncos made the plays that won the football game and avoided the critical errors. They successfully executed an end-of-half field-goal situation, won the turnover battle and earned hidden yardage via Marvin Mims Jr.'s return game.
And, in a critical moment, Wilson and Jerry Jeudy helped convert a critical third down via penalty that ultimately set up Lutz's kick.
After a 1-5 start, it's hardly dramatic to say the Broncos' playoff chances swung with each play in Buffalo. And ultimately, the Broncos made the needed plays to earn the win and continue an impressive stretch.
Their reward? Another prime-time matchup, this time against a red-hot Vikings team that has won six of their last seven games. With a win, the Broncos would move back to .500 and fully into the thick of the AFC wild-card race.
And yet, in the minutes after Denver's win, Sutton wasn't much concerned with the doubters he spoke of several weeks ago.
"At this point, it's not even so much about proving them wrong," Sutton said. "It's more so about us proving to ourselves. We know what we're capable of."