It hasn’t been an easy week for Russell Wilson.
On top of his poor game and a recent hamstring injury, he now mocks his favorite catchphrase.
Since joining the Denver Broncos, it’s become commonplace to hear Wilson end press conferences or videos with four now-famous words.
“Bronco country, let’s roll.”
However, after Wilson admitted he spent four hours of his flight to London for the Broncos’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars doing high knees in the driveway while his teammates slept, some of his contemporaries in the NFL mocked the quarterback.
Following the Baltimore Ravens’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker participated by saying on an Instagram Live on the plane home, “What do we do on the plane ride home I heard Lamar (Jackson) was leading us to our knees The crows are flocking, let’s fly.
But Wilson – despite the immense scrutiny he was subjected to – had the final laugh on Sunday as, despite some early mistakes, he helped the Broncos beat the Jaguars 21-17 at Wembley Stadium in London.
A late interception by K’Wuan Williams of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence sealed the victory and one that could prove a major turning point for the Broncos’ season.
After missing last week’s game through injury and with a bye week looming, Wilson was able to banish his early-season demons and possibly kickstart the Broncos’ season.
“We just needed a bit of momentum and there’s a long season left – I’ve played a lot of ball, played a lot of games, been through some amazing things and tough things along the way, that’s just part of the trip,” Wilson told ESPN afterwards.
Wilson continued: “Just because you want to climb the mountain doesn’t mean you won’t fall a bit – you just have to keep climbing. I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t handle the pressure. I appreciate that.
“These guys were great at cheering me up too – their work ethic comes through every day, no matter what happens or what was said. At the end of the day, I also know who I am. God gave me an incredible ability to keep going, keep playing and keep leading, so day to day I’m not going to blink.
It’s been seven weeks to forget for Wilson, after being traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Broncos and signing a huge extension.
Wilson looked uncomfortable from day one, missing open receivers and what were previously easy throws for a regular Pro Bowler like him.
With his catchphrases and unwavering confidence despite the results, Wilson’s positive outlook failed to conceal the warts his new team showed.
With some early struggles for first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett, it was off to a bad start.
And the Super Bowl XLVIII champ came to London with the primary goal of getting back on track. But it couldn’t have started much worse as he threw an interception on his second practice of the game as what looked to be another disappointing week started in the worst possible way.
But, with the help of a talented defense and Lawrence’s struggles, the game remained close throughout.
And, eventually, the Broncos started to click. A touchdown pass from Wilson to Jerry Jeudy put the team in after the Jaguars took a 10-0 first-half lead.
After halftime, Denver continued to look a lot more like its offseason hopes had been. The attack started to move the ball effectively. Melvin Gordon’s touchdown just after the break gave Denver the lead for the first time, before Travis Etienne regained control of the Jaguars in their home away from home.
But a fourth-quarter touchdown from Latavius Murry — set up by a 47-yard deep pass to KJ Hamler — restored the Broncos’ lead.
With the Jaguars in need of their own comeback, Lawrence flopped in the big moment, throwing an interception at Williams, ending Wilson’s tough week just as he would have liked.
And in the end, standing on the Wembley field, winning quarterback once again, Wilson had a message for those watching.
“Bronco country, let’s roll, baby.”