Let's not be silly about this.

An encouraging preseason opener is a long way from a Super Bowl beatdown. Revenge is for February, maybe even September, but never in August.

Yet, there was satisfaction, maybe even a touch of glee, in the Broncos for not only standing up to the bullying Seattle Seahawks, but landing a punch or two.

In their lightning-delayed preseason game against the Super Seahawks on Thursday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the Broncos defeated Seattle 21-16, and in the process, showed a new brand of toughness. Broncos grit is along the lines of a 6-yard completion and a cloud of dust.

"It meant something to win, especially against the Seahawks," defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. "It shows we got better and closed the gap in a couple of areas."

At the very least, the Broncos may have proved to themselves, if not quite the rest of the NFL, that the 43-8 whipping they took from the Seahawks back in February was somewhat fluky.

As preseason games go, this meant something to the Broncos. Coach John Fox delivered an inspired speech the night before, appealing to his team's sense of pride in front of its home crowd.