Broncos' opponents are 0-9, but Denver won't apologize for 3-0

DENVER -- The Denver Broncos have scored touchdowns, spiced in some big plays, piled up sacks, shut down opposing offenses, rattled two rookie quarterbacks and, at 3-0, have constructed their best start to a season since 2016.

One thing they have not, and will not, do is issue an apology for doing it all against three teams -- the New York Giants, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets -- that are a combined 0-9.

"It's just the schedule ... that's a fact," said Broncos coach Vic Fangio. "That's the way it is in the NFL ... you have to take care of business."

Sunday's 26-0 victory over the Jets was the Broncos' first shutout since 2019 and means the team has outscored its first three opponents 76-26. Denver hasn't surrendered a point in the third quarter this season.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has completed 76.8% of his passes, has not thrown an interception and has quickly become a leading voice in the locker room. Also, with three victories of double-digit margins the Broncos have as many wins by 10 or more points in three weeks as they did in the previous 31 games.

"We've had a taste of success, we want to stay there," Bridgewater said. "That's the thing about this game is it can humble you. And as long as we keep that mindset, being humble and understanding that our best is yet to come.

"The thing that I love about this team is we're finding a way to win and people don't understand how hard it is to win in this league," Bridgewater added. "Everybody thinks it's easy, pitch and catch, block, there's a lot that goes into it."

The Broncos have won their first three games by 14, 10 and 26 points. And while the quality of those three opponents may not fire the confetti cannons for many, the Broncos and the Buffalo Bills -- at plus-50 -- are the league leaders in point differential over the season's first three weeks. The Broncos, who finished worst in the league in giveaways last season as well as turnover margin, have forced five turnovers in their three games. They did not force their fifth turnover until Week 5 last season.

Linebacker Von Miller has said since training camp that "this team is different.'' In the fourth quarter the Broncos intercepted Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson twice in Denver territory -- the second one at the 27-yard line in the game's final minute -- to preserve the shutout.

"I feel like it says a lot about your character," said Broncos safety Justin Simmons. "There's a point where, probability-wise, the game is probably over, but as a defense you go out there ... 'Hey let's prep, this counts, what if they need a field goal to win the game?' That's the mindset. Guys were preaching that on the sideline."

The next team on the docket is the Baltimore Ravens (2-1), which starts a portion of the schedule with a little more teeth. The Ravens have rushed for 556 yards already this season, have won a game on a record 66-yard moon shot field goal from All-Pro kicker Justin Tucker, have a former league MVP at quarterback in Lamar Jackson and also have a win over the Kansas City Chiefs this season, a team the Broncos haven't beaten in the past 11 tries.

The unbeaten start "feels good, but the only focus now is trying to get to 4-0," Fangio said. "That's just the way life is. I enjoy that we won these three games, but by the time I get home [Sunday] night, I'm going to start working on the Ravens."

The players know it is a bit of a cliché, but for a team that hasn't made the postseason since Peyton Manning was at quarterback, the approach that might work best is to think of the next game as the only game.

"We've just got to continue to stay in the moment," Miller said. "It's fun when you win, it's fun when you make plays, when everybody makes plays, you don't want just one guy making plays. ... It's fun when everybody gets a turn."