Through the first two weeks of the season, the Denver Broncos’ special teams unit wasn’t living up to expectations.

Corliss Waitman was dead-last in the NFL in net-punting average and the Broncos were among the league’s five worst teams in special teams DVOA (DVOA is a metric that simply adds context to yardage, by factoring in the situation, opponent and a number of other variables).

However, San Francisco’s stingy defense provided the perfect stage for Waitman and the special teams unit to right the ship, as Denver consistently pinned their opponents back deep with accurate kicks and tremendous coverage.

This is the first time I felt like we were playing Bronco-style football,” special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes said of the primetime performance, on Wednesday. “We’re trying to still build a culture and a standard around here. Tackling a guy inside of the 15-yard-line twice in the game, that’s where we want to be. Again, like I told those guys in the meeting, that wasn’t our Super Bowl right there. We can’t celebrate. We have to consistently do that for the next 14 weeks. Yes, I was happy with that game, but now we have to show that we can do it again.”

Stukes was also very complimentary of Waitman, who won AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his Week 3 performance.

Anytime we can help our team win a football game as far as field position, I’m happy,” Stukes said of Waitman’s performance, and how it aided the Denver Broncos’ victory. “The work [P] Corliss [Waitman] puts in, watching tape, studying himself and studying opponents, it’s a credit to him is why he’s the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. I’m happy for him, absolutely.”

Waitman told the media this week that he slept with the game ball after he was awarded one following the victory.

“It’s awesome,” Waitman said of being awarded the game ball and earning Player of the Week honors. “It’s my first real-deal award. It’s definitely surreal. My teammates helped me, of course.”

If Waitman and the special teams can continue to perform like that, it’ll bring much-needed relief to the Denver Broncos — a franchise that’s suffered through years and years of horrific special teams play.