The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl thanks to the dominance of one of the greatest defenses the league has ever seen. Is it the best to ever do it?…
The 1985 Chicago Bears would certainly have a bone to pick with this statement, as would plenty of teams over the course of NFL history, but the statement was thrown around on Sunday night: The 2015/16 Denver Broncos are the greatest defense in Pro Football history.
That’s a bold statement.
Bold considering what the Seattle Seahawks did to Denver two years ago, but it’s also justified in its own unique way. The Broncos allowed just one touchdown from quarterbacks all postseason to a group that included MVP Cam Newton, four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, and two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger.
The defense’s dominance cannot be understated. They sacked Cam Newton six times in the Super Bowl and forced four turnovers. They sacked Tom Brady four times and hit him more than any other team has in his NFL career in a single game.
Oh, and by the way, they picked off ol’ Tommy Boy twice as well.
They shut down Ben Roethlisberger, allowing over 300 passing yards but zero touchdowns and another three sacks with a critical forced fumble from Bradley Roby late in the game.
The Denver defense is great in its own unique way because of the way it carried this team literally from the first game until the last. When you talk about how the NFL is a ‘passing’ league it always seems to come back around to the old cliche that ‘defense wins championships’ and the Broncos proved that to be true in a number of ways.
This is a defense with no weaknesses. Their depth is unlike any other in the NFL. What other NFL team has three cornerbacks the caliber of Chris Harris Jr., Bradley Roby, and Aqib Talib?
What other team has two pass rushers like Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware?
What other team faced up against three of the best quarterbacks in the ‘passing’ era of the NFL and absolutely shut them down. I would argue — none. None like the Denver Broncos faced this season. They beat a Super Bowl MVP in the first game of the season, and they did it all throughout the year.
Playing against the best teams in the NFL and countless players who have hardware to spare made this team the most battle tested team in the league, and they ran away with the Lombardi Trophy, Denver’s third in team history.
Just look at this list of quarterbacks the Broncos faced off against this year, starting from week one:
Joe Flacco (former Super Bowl MVP)
Alex Smith (x2, former #1 overall pick, 2013 Pro Bowl selection)
Matthew Stafford (former #1 overall pick, 2014 Pro Bowl selection)
Teddy Bridgewater (2015 Pro Bowl)
Derek Carr (2015 Pro Bowl)
Aaron Rodgers (former Super Bowl MVP)
Andrew Luck (former #1 overall pick, Pro Bowl selection)
Jay Cutler (2008 Pro Bowl selection)
Tom Brady (x2, Super Bowl MVP & future Hall of Famer)
Philip Rivers (5x Pro Bowl selection)
Ben Roethlisberger (x2, 2x Super Bowl champion)
Cam Newton (2015 NFL MVP)
So how do you like these guys now?
Against that slate of QBs, the Denver Broncos led the NFL in total defense, passing defense, and sacks. They racked up 14 sacks this postseason — most in the NFL — and allowed just one passing touchdown. Their six forced fumbles and four recoveries also led the league, but believe it or not, the Broncos were also the only team this NFL postseason to score a defensive touchdown.
Is this the greatest defense of all time?
I couldn’t really care less what everyone thinks. The 1985 Bears, the Buccaneers and Ravens of the early 2000s, and obviously the Seattle Seahawks in our modern NFL…
This defense took one of the worst offenses I can remember seeing in orange and blue, and carried them to a Lombardi. This defense is the best one I can remember for the Denver Broncos in my lifetime.
This defense is one of the greatest in NFL history. If they want to call themselves the best, I’m not going to stand in their way.
No one else could.