Broncos vs. Colts Playoff Preview: Not Just Peyton This Time

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1. The Return of the Orange Crush

The Broncos played well in last year’s playoffs defensively against San Diego and New England. Obviously, well enough to win the games and earn a trip to the Super Bowl. This year, the group is vastly improved, thanks to some key players actually being on the field for the Broncos.

If you’d like, I could name them all, but basically the only guys the Broncos had on the field at this time last year that are still starting on the defense are Terrance Knighton and Malik Jackson.

The difference that has been made this year by having a fully healthy Von Miller (2nd-team All-Pro), the emergence of Brandon Marshall, the acquisitions that were made (DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby), and the way the Broncos have utilized their depth has been more than a marked improvement.

Dec 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (25) runs the ball after an interception in the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Bills 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos are a different team because of this defense. They can actually rely on this unit to get the ball back to the offense on a consistent basis. That has potentially caused the offense to be a bit more conservative at times than anyone would prefer, but the fact remains. The Broncos lead the league in three-and-outs forced. They create turnovers. They have depth, and this year it’s not being used in a starting role.

This unit is so talented, and they can change the course of destiny for the Broncos.