The Denver Broncos lost their first game in 294 days today, dropping a home game to the Atlanta Falcons 23-16 in Denver.

For the first time since the Broncos were outscored by the Pittsburgh Steelers last December on the road, Broncos fans had to cope with a loss.

It’s okay, though. The sun will still come out tomorrow.

Starting quarterback Trevor Siemian sat out the game, still nursing that sore shoulder, and Paxton Lynch got his first NFL start.

It was a mixed bag for Lynch, who would finish the game 23 of 35 for 223 yards, with one touchdown. But the rookie also had one interception, two fumbles, was sacked six times and hurried numerous other times.

It wasn’t entirely his fault.

The offensive line was a bit of a sieve, allowing the Falcons defense to dominate most of the game.

Atlanta logged eight quarterback hits, and held the Denver rushing game to just 84 yards. It also wasn’t just the offensive unit that struggled.

The defense looked out of sorts for most of the day, allowing the Falcons to rack up nearly 400 yards of offense, and 122 of those yards were on the ground.

So there is bad news.

The Broncos were outplayed on both sides of the ball, and if they are going to defend their status as NFL champions, they are going to have to make some major improvements.

Denver is clearly missing starting offensive tackle Donald Stephenson, as well as tight end Virgil Green, who is a reputable blocker as well as receiver.

Backups Ty Sambrailo and Michael Schofield looked to be outclassed for most of the day, with Sambrailo in particular, really struggling.

Paxton Lynch showed some of his huge upside, but he looked nowhere near as composed as Trevor Siemian, taking bad sacks and forcing a few ill-advised throws.

Running back CJ Anderson struggled to show much explosion, and Demaryius Thomas dropped a pass or two that he should have caught.

And yes, even the vaunted defense definitely has room to get better.

The Falcons running backs had some serious production with Devonta Freeman rushing for 88 yards and catching three passes for 35 yards. And Tevin Coleman ran for 31 yards and caught four passes for 132 yards.

But let’s be honest, a loss to the Atlanta Falcons will not make or break the Broncos’ season.

Those games are saved for AFC opponents — AFC West opponents, even more specifically.

Next up for the Broncos are the scrappy San Diego Chargers on the road, and that game will carry significantly higher consequences.

Denver can now put to rest talk of undefeated seasons and winning streaks, and start focusing on some of their shortcomings that must be improved.

If that happens, then this loss will just be a faint memory come playoff time.

If not, we might look back at this game as the start of showing some cracks in their armor.