Despite a 2-3 start, the Broncos find themselves in the thick of the AFC West title race.
Denver will travel to San Diego for a Monday night showdown this week that gives the Broncos a chance to tie the Chargers for the division lead. The team’s place in the standings is helping it stay positive and focused after a 31-21 loss to the Patriots.
“That’s the good news,” tight end Jacob Tamme said. “We’ve got a chance to get right there at the top of the division lead again. Nobody’s real happy around here right now, but no one’s discouraged at the same time. It’s time to get back to work and get ready for this week.”
Each of the Broncos’ first three losses of the season have come against quality competition in Atlanta and Houston, who are both 5-0, and the defending AFC Champion Patriots. Week 6 will be no different, as Denver takes on a 3-2 San Diego squad. Tamme said the team should expect to win week in and week out, regardless of the opposition.
“We feel like we should be able to go strap it up with anybody, and we’ve missed some opportunities to kind of prove that,” Tamme said. “We’ve played good teams. Every team in this league is pretty good. At the end of the day, you’ve got to win. You’ve got to win against good teams. We’ll go back to work and try to get a little better this week.”
Though the Broncos know how important it is to get back to .500, Tamme said the team’s record is not a source of added pressure.
“I haven’t really heard ‘2-4’ until you just said it,” Tamme said. “The goal is to find a way to get to 3-3. We’re playing a good team again, a division opponent who’s at the top of the division right now, and we’ve got a chance to get back up there with them. We’ll have to be ready for it.”
One problem for the Broncos through the first five games of the season has been fumbles. Denver currently leads the NFL with seven, including three against the Patriots. Doing a better job holding onto the ball is important, but it’s not something that can be perfected. It’s simply a matter of squeezing the ball tight and hanging on, Tamme said.
“Sometimes you’re going to get unlucky,” Tamme said. “Guys make a great play and get a hand right there on it. We’ll continue to put an emphasis on it. As an offense, it’s something we work on hard, and we’ll get a couple of those bounces too.”
“Just try to protect it with everything you’ve got,” Tamme continued. “That’s about it.”
One other area where the Broncos are looking to improve is in how they start games. Falling behind has been an issue in each of Denver’s losses, but Tamme said better first quarters are not far from the team’s grasp.
“I wish we had a little magic potion,” Tamme said. “I don’t know the exacts. I think just little things with ball security, with missing a block here and there, or being just a tad off in different parts. I think the slow start maybe is a little bit overrated at this point. We were pretty close to going up 7-0 there early (against New England), but at the same time, we didn’t. It’s a matter of just taking care of all those little things. We’ve all got to individually get better. I can play better. We can all do a little better.”