ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Judgments made in September in the NFL have often proved, over time, to be not the safest of bets.
The Denver Broncos know this, given that their roster is still filled with players who know what it takes to go end-to-end in a season. Just two seasons ago, they were the last team standing in a Super Bowl run. But the Broncos acknowledge that they've done a little something in this season's first two weeks.
"Maybe we've shown people who we are," cornerback Chris Harris Jr said. "We know a lot people weren't talking about us, maybe they didn't put us with some of the other teams. We're just going to keep playing. But maybe they know a little more."
The Broncos moved to 2-0 with Sunday's 42-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, but it was the way they did it that might have reintroduced them as a potential power broker this season.
The Broncos routed the Cowboys from start to finish. They held Ezekiel Elliott to 8 yards rushing. They romped to 178 rushing yards of their own. Quarterback Trevor Siemian threw four touchdown passes -- he leads the league with six -- and the Broncos showed power as well as versatility on both sides of the ball.
Broncos players said they noticed, in the offseason, many predictions that they would win just four, five or six games. But they're not gloating over their 2-0 start. They also are quick to say it's just a beginning, with plenty of pages still to flip on the calendar.
"It's early," head coach Vance Joseph said. "We don't want to be overconfident. ... It's Week 2. We won two games, but it's a long season. ... It's a hard league. It's a long season. Just being humble is the key right now."
If anything, the AFC West standings should keep the Broncos on point as they go about their business. The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs have also started 2-0, with the Chiefs owning a 15-point win over the New England Patriots.
The Broncos soon will get up close and personal with the rest of the West. Four of their first seven games are in the division.
"Long way to go," said cornerback Aqib Talib. "We've got to do work."
The Broncos also have seen their own blemishes in the early going. Their offense has turned the ball over four times, and all four turnovers have resulted in touchdowns.
The Chargers turned a rout into a nail-biter with back-to-back touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, both off Broncos turnovers. And while the Broncos' lead against the Cowboys was big enough to take some of the sting out of another fourth-quarter turnover, it still is a significant red flag.
"We have to focus, really focus, and not turn the ball over," Joseph said. "And if we do [have turnovers], defensively we have to stand up and hold them to field goals. It's been four turnovers, four touchdowns. We have to fix that issue on both sides of the ball."
"It's not where we want it to be," Broncos running back C.J. Anderson said of the offense. "We still have, I call it, 'dead time.' We still have dead time. We were hot. We were good, then we came out cold and we had the turnover."
The Broncos hit the road for the first time in the regular season this weekend, traveling to Buffalo for an early Sunday kickoff -- 11 a.m. MT. They will take on that challenge with the win over the Cowboys still fresh in their minds. That puts them in feel-good mode.
"You take pride in what you do," said nose tackle Domata Peko. "You don't let that go just because things went well the game before. That's not what we're about. Now we can show that too."