ENGLEWOOD — For Russell Wilson and the Broncos, there's only result they're looking for Thursday night against the Colts, after a disappointing performance four days ago against the Raiders.
"Winning," Wilson said Tuesday. "That’s it, that’s all that really matters."
Through four weeks, things haven't exactly gone as planned for the Broncos in 2022. Sitting at 2-2 and 0-1 in the AFC West, Denver has been underwhelming, with losses to the Seahawks and Raiders and narrow victories over the Texans and 49ers.
The offense is statistically one of the worst in the league. The defense has been great, but suffered a relapse in Las Vegas. The injuries are starting to pile up, losing running back Javonte Williams for the season and outside linebacker Randy Gregory for several weeks. And the new quarterback and head coach have yet to live up to expectations.
Still, despite the inconsistency, the Broncos have everything in front of them. And on a short week facing the Colts at home, this could be a turning point for the Broncos.
"I think every game has a history of its own," Wilson said. "You can worry about all of the things ahead, but what I do know is there are a lot of teams that are 2-2 and a lot of teams — a handful of teams that are 3-1 — and we’re right in striking distance."
The Colts are in a similar situation, having been disappointing thus far this season. Though, they have already accomplished something this season that no Broncos team has done since 2015, beating the Chiefs Week 3. Their 1-2-1 record could be deceiving, just as the 0-3 Raiders were Sunday.
"A great team in the Colts," Wilson said. "I think they have a lot of great players, so many stars on their team. It’s going to be a great matchup, and I’m looking forward to it. Playing in front of our fans, what a great time that’s going to be. It’s a special thing."
Add that on top of it being a short week, and the Broncos could find themselves in a tough spot Thursday night at Empower Field at Mile High. That's why they're approaching it as a get-right-game before a weekend off and a long week before Monday Night Football against the Chargers Oct. 17.
“We finally got one quick after that last week," coach Nathaniel Hackett said. "From a coaching standpoint, it's a grind. It’s definitely a grind. I know it's a grind on the players, but it's part of our profession. It's primetime, and everybody gets to watch it. So you're always excited for that.”
So while it's only Week 5 and there's no such thing as a "must win" this early in the season, Thursday night could be a game the Broncos look back on as a crossroad in their season. A lot of teams have slow starts, but the great teams eventually turn those slow starts into fast finishes, and it's time for the Broncos to turn up the speed on the process.
"We got them right where we want them," Wilson said, "so we have to go get it."