Broncos QB Russell Wilson relishes two-minute drill chances: “We’re going to win this game and that’s how it’s going to be”


Over the course of Denver’s four-game winning streak, the Broncos have scored points in a two-minute drill situation five times.

They got a field goal before the half against Green Bay to lead 9-0, two field goals in the final minute of the first half against Buffalo to lead 15-8, then a field goal before the half and a game-winning touchdown for nine of their points in a 21-20 victory against Minnesota last Sunday.

While Sean Payton would gladly take more touchdowns than field goals in those instances, the situation is clearly one in which quarterback Russell Wilson is comfortable.

“It’s time to be lights out,” Wilson told reporters Wednesday. “That’s got to be your mentality going into it. What I always think about is, ‘this is a great opportunity to go win the game here.’ It’s the little details and playing clean. Focusing on the fundamentals. If you ask any great free-throw shooter, when the game’s on the line, what are they thinking about? ‘Elbow in.’ Just the little details.”

Points figure to be at a premium again Sunday at home against Cleveland (7-3), which boasts perhaps the NFL’s best defense. Capitalizing on those kinds of chances will again be critical.

“It’s about believing, ultimately, and knowing who you are and where you’ve been and what you’ve done. And believing in the guys around you that you’re going to get this done,” Wilson said. “A big part of it is language and energy and body language, too, is really critical, to letting guys know that, ‘we’re going to win this game and that’s how it’s going to be.’

“When you do that and then you do that, often, (the defense) knows that, too. The other team.”

Locke out again. Broncos safety P.J. Locke (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. It’s not all bad news, though. Locke had his helmet and shoulder pads on and did agility drills on the side field during the portion of practice open to reporters.

He was the only player who didn’t practice at all Wednesday. Running back Samje Perine (knee), defensive tackle D.J. Jones (knee) and inside linebacker Josey Jewell (back) were limited. Outside linebacker Nik Bonitto (shoulder), defensive lineman Mike Purcell (elbow) and outside linebacker Baron Browning (wrist) are listed on the injury report but practiced fully.

Jackson’s absence. If Locke can’t play, safety Kareem Jackson’s absence due to a four-game suspension becomes even more pertinent.

Asked about the discipline Jackson received, Payton was short and to the point.

“There’s not a whole lot to say,” Payton said. “We went through the process, he had an appeals process yesterday and it kind of it what it is right now.”

Sanders has versatility. The Broncos have used rookie Drew Sanders as an inside linebacker and in pass-rush sub packages so far this season. He’s got the kind of versatility that can translate in the middle of the field or on the edge. So, could he be used in such ways going forward?

The Broncos had just three outside linebackers active against Minnesota (Browning, Bonitto and Cooper), and the 6-foot-5, 233-pound rookie could be an option going forward, especially against teams where length is at a premium in trying to control the edge.

“He’ll play different spots and we’ll see how it unfolds during the game,” Payton said.

Thanksgiving plans? Wilson said he’s looking forward to watching some football on Thanksgiving day and spending time with family.

But first?

“We have football practice for most of the day, so we’ll be busy for most of the day — until about 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. or something like that,” he said. “You always ask other guys what they have going on. A lot of guys have family coming to town since it’s a home game.”

Payton said Monday that the Broncos are moving their post-practice film review of that day’s work and other afternoon meetings to Friday morning in order to get players and coaches home for more of the late afternoon and evening.

The primetime game Thursday night? Wilson’s old team, Seattle, hosting San Francisco.

Stave off the tryptophan.

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