DENVER (KDVR) — Rested and ready to roll. Coming off the bye week, it’s full steam ahead for the Denver Broncos.

“There is a mental break that allows you to come back focused and ready to go for this stretch,” Head coach Sean Payton said on his Monday morning Zoom call.

Sure the record of 3-5 isn’t great, but one could argue the arrow is pointed upwards after back-to-back wins over the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs.

“Clearly, I feel like we are a better team than we were four or five weeks ago,” Payton said looking back on the first half of the season. “From an overview of the team, I think we are a lot further down the road. Because of that, you get more invested and recognize the next opportunity at hand.”

Up next, the first of two primetime national television appearances. The first one is on Monday Night Football in Buffalo against the Bills and then Sunday Night Football hosting the Minnesota Vikings.

“The competitor in you wants to play in front for large audiences, so these are those opportunities,” Payton said, noting that the opportunity ahead is important for the team going forward.

Coming off the bye week, Payton has a record of 10-6 including his time with the New Orleans Saints.

The two-game winning streak centers around the defense that has found a pulse after a lifeless 70-point game in Week 3 against Miami. The Broncos have allowed three touchdowns in the last three games.

“We are doing a number of things well that are necessary to win games,” Payton said.

Quick notes from Sean Payton

On the Broncos not trading wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, Payton said, “He’s an important piece of what we are doing. He’s dynamic.”

On Russell Wilson, who is on his third offense in three seasons, Payton said, “There is a lot of things that he’s doing well and there’s things that obviously he wants to improve on.”

On getting wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. more involved in the game plan going forward, Payton said, “We are going to work our tails off to give him more opportunities.”