After finishing with an 11-game winning streak and 13-3 record, an elimination in the first playoff game for the Broncos was not what Head Coach John Fox or Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway had in mind for the team's postseason future. On Monday at a press conference the two spoke with the media about the fuel provided by the loss and the bright future in Denver.
"They are all competitors," Fox said. "There are a lot of good guys in our locker room. As I told our team, I feel for them. They put a lot into this. They do feel that sting and that pain. I think they'll be better for it."
After a 2-3 start with new quarterback Peyton Manning at the helm, the Broncos rattled off 11 consecutive wins and finished the year with the NFL's second-most points and fourth-fewest points allowed. However, only two of the 11 straight wins came against teams that advanced to the playoffs, and each of the three losses came against teams that won their division.
Regardless, the Broncos were considered one of the favorites in the postseason before a double-overtime loss at home to the Baltimore Ravens, 38-35, ended their championship dreams.
"It adds incentive to next year," Elway said. "By the time we get into training camp, we'll be looking at this as something we can learn from, and hopefully use that as a battle cry going into next year."
Following the loss, the Broncos are set to select with pick No. 28 in the 2013 NFL Draft.