The Broncos shouldn’t have won on Thursday night. They did, and they deserve that “1” in the win column, but they did just about everything they could to gift wrap the victory to the Carolina Panthers.

Turnovers? Three. Poor clock management? You bet. Backbreaking penalties? Stopped counting.

Denver should have had that game won so many times, but they still let it all come down to the right leg of Graham Gano. And thanks to a big dose of Mile High Magic, that ball sailed wide left.

It won’t next time.

Even in the thrill of victory, the Broncos understand they can’t play like they did on Thursday night and expect to win games, especially not against teams of the Panthers’ caliber.

Enjoy the win, but continue to improve.

Gary Kubiak

“I’ll tell you exactly what I told the guys. I’m proud of them. It was a close football game, a great game. We won because we continued to battle and battle and believe. At the same time, we had so many mistakes. I will not let up on them. We made too many mistakes playing and coaching. We survived tonight, but we have a lot of things to correct.”

C.J. Anderson

“Call it what you want. At the end of the day, we won the football game. Our goal was to be 1-0, and unfortunately in this league, things happen. We had three turnovers today, and that’s something we know we have to clean up and correct. We cannot beat great or good football teams that way. We got one today, and we’re happy about that, but we’ve definitely got to correct that.”

Chris Harris 

“We played terrible in the first half. We didn’t play Bronco football. Third down was terrible, the offense was giving the ball away—we just knew we had to come in and play our game.”

Shane Ray

“It was communication. We weren’t communicating well in the first half and it cost us some big plays. Then, we got that down coming out after halftime. We regathered, regrouped and figured out the mistakes we were making as a team and we came back out and attacked.”

Aqib Talib

“The first half, we made so many mistakes. We made a ton of mistakes. So many mistakes. We left so many plays on the field, but I think in the second half we did a better job executing our defense.”

DeMarcus Ware

“I look at it as ‘a win is a win.’ You just look at it that way. It was a hard-fought game. You can see that. We made enough mistakes to lose a game, but a lot of guys had a lot of heart throughout the whole game, and we made some plays in that second half to keep us in the game to close it out.”