The Denver Broncos chose the best week to lose their first game.

For the defending Super Bowl champions, Sunday’s showing against the high-flying Atlanta Falcons was a forgettable one.

Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan managed to keep his name off the list of quarterbacks shut down by the Broncos’ defense during their unbelievable run by throwing for 267 yards and one touchdown and finishing with a 98.4 quarterback rating.

In the process, the Broncos lost their first game since December 20, when Antonio Brown and the Pittsburgh Steelers did whatever they wanted to a Denver team that would go on to win Super Bowl 50.

No team wants to lose, but as far as the Broncos’ situation goes, this was the game to drop.

The best way to get over a loss is to go out and win the next one, and the Broncos have the earliest possible opportunity to do just that when they take on the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night.

The opportunity doesn’t get much better for the Broncos. They will take on a Chargers team that has fallen on tough times. Through the first five weeks of the season, the Chargers have lost three of their top players — receiver Keenan Allen, running back Danny Woodhead and linebacker Manti Te’o, amongst several others — to season-ending injuries. The Chargers have also managed to blow second half leads in all four of their losses thus far this season.

Thursday night not only gives the Broncos the opportunity to get back to their winning ways, but it also allows them to get off to a solid start in the AFC West.

The Broncos didn’t play well on Sunday, but the Falcons are a good team that Denver won’t see again unless both teams make it to Super Bowl LI.

The Broncos couldn’t spend much time dwelling on the loss, and that is for the best. Despite their 1-4 record, San Diego usually plays Denver tough. The loss to Atlanta didn’t derail Denver’s season by any means, but a loss to San Diego could be the beginning of the end of the Broncos’ five-year reign over the AFC West.

Despite their issues, there is no reason the Broncos should leave San Diego without a win. The Chargers are simply outmatched. The defense had a bad day on Sunday, the quarterback situation is still up in the air and head coach Gary Kubiak is dealing with health issues of his own, but the Broncos shouldn’t have too many problems taking down their first AFC West opponent of the season.

A banged up Broncos team could use a break. The Broncos will defeat the Chargers and enjoy a nice 10 days of rest before they welcome their old friend Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans to town for a Monday night matchup.