DENVER (KDVR) — The first win is always the toughest. Just ask the Denver Broncos.

Sunday’s 31-28 victory over the Chicago Bears was a long time coming. How long? The Broncos last won a game in the United States on Nov. 7, 2021, a 30-16 upset of the Dallas Cowboys. Take away the London victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars last season and the Broncos have gone winless in 12 games.

That streak of futility came to an end Sunday.

“I’m encouraged that we fought back into that game, but man, let’s not finish today when we’re done watching this tape and feel like we’re content at all with how we played,” Broncos head coach Sean Payton said on his Monday morning Zoom audio call.

Payton credits quarterback Russell Wilson for guiding the team to its first victory.

“(We’re) down 21 points and that momentum can swing very quickly,” Payton said. “He was certainly feeling that confidence that, ‘Hey, just get us the ball and here we go.’ I think that’s somewhat contagious.”

Wilson registered his highest quarterback rating with the Broncos (133.5) against the Bears, a sign that he is playing his best football in Denver.

Still, there’s work to be done after Payton’s first victory as head coach of the Broncos.

“That sense of urgency has to exist again this week,” Payton said. “We’re going to play against a lot better teams here in the next month, month-and-a-half.”

Up next for the Broncos is a home game Sunday against the New York Jets and former head coach Nathaniel Hackett.