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NFL's best? Broncos' defense ready to lead way

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  • NFL's best? Broncos' defense ready to lead way

    By Gregg Rosenthal

    Sept. 14, 2015 at 02:19 p.m

    Peyton Manning and the Broncos were destroyed by a defense-first team in the Super Bowl only 19 months ago. Now Denver is a defense-first team. And they have the talent to be as good as those 2013 Seattle Seahawks.

    Denver is the most fascinating team in the league because of their declining offense and the ridiculous potential of their defense. Yes, we understand that a Peyton Manning-led team failing to score a touchdown is going to attract attention. (Or as Manning put it: A "catchy headline for your little article.") But the Broncos' defense is the new headliner in town. There isn't a team east of Seattle that has more talent and aggression at every level of their defense. On a day when dominant defenses shined in St. Louis and Buffalo, the Broncos stood apart.

    Every game, all season

    The Ravens had 38 yards at halftime. They just barely cracked triple digits in passing yards (100) on 34 drop backs by Joe Flacco. DeMarcus Ware looked like he was shot out of a cannon every snap, hitting Flacco five times. The return to health for linebackers Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan made a huge difference, with Marshall in the Ravens backfield all afternoon. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris rival any cornerback duo in the league.

    Many of Denver's defensive pieces were in place last year, but this group has a far higher ceiling because of Wade Phillips. Perhaps no defensive coordinator in the last 25 years has so consistently created immediate results. He usually takes a below average defense and turns them into a top-five unit. Phillips has the pieces now to turn a top-five group into the game's best.

    Phillips' defenses just look different. The players fly around to the ball and act like they own the field. He was very aggressive dialing up creative blitzes, consistently flummoxing Flacco. Talib's pick-six came off a throw that Flacco hurried because of a blitz. Flacco released a few failed third down passes early because he knew the pressure was coming.

    By the time the Broncos ended the game -- and Baltimore's first red zone trip -- with a beautiful interception, it was obvious this is a different Broncos team. You could watch every NFL game all season and not see five better defensive performances. John Fox and Jack Del Rio coached a fine defense in Denver. But this one could be memorable, not unlike the team's 2013 offense.

    "It was the greatest defensive football game I've ever been part of as a coach," said Kubiak.

    The Broncos are one of the most fascinating teams in the league because of the dichotomy between Manning's slow adjustment to Kubiak's offense, and the fast results Phillips is getting on defense. (The starters didn't give up a preseason touchdown either.) Sunday was the first time the Broncos won a game without scoring an offensive touchdown since September of 2006. Perhaps Manning doesn't need to shine in Kubiak's offense. He just needs to be average, and let this defense do the rest.
    Full story
    Peyton Manning isn't the same anymore, and he doesn't have to be. Denver's defense could be the best in the league. Gregg Rosenthal goes into detail on that and more after a wild Sunday.
    Adopted Poster
    AZ Snake Fan

  • #2
    I was watching pressers and I do not know which player said it but essentially he said "we are not going to fool people, they are going to have to stop us"

    Wanna say it was Chris Harris....I love that our defense has that attitude ans can back it up!
    Skill + Effort = Talent. Talent + Effort = Achievement. A. Duckworth - Grit.