The Denver Broncos' defense heard all the questions this offseason.
How will they replace Elvis Dumervil? What will they do until Von Miller gets back from his suspension?
"I took it personally," linebacker Shaun Phillips said after Thursday's 49-27 victory, via The Denver Post. "Everyone was like, 'What are we going to do about the pass rush?' I've got like 70-something sacks in my career. What am I, some bum or something like that?"
Early in the first quarter, the questions about the Broncos' rush seemed valid. However, the pressure on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco became more sustained as the game progressed. The Broncos ended the game with 4.5 sacks, led by Phillips' 2.5.
The veteran linebacker, who signed with the Broncos this offseason, pulled no punches after the game when asked if the media's questions motivated him.
Jack Del Rio's defense was all over the field in the final three quarters. Specifically, linebacker Wesley Woodyard made impact plays, and his number popped up seemingly in every play (10 tackles, 0.5 sacks). Luckily, he avoided injury after Danny Trevathan's blooper.
The Broncos got some help from a shaky Ravens receiving corps, but the Broncos' defense made key plays, including two interceptions. They also showed that last season's performance wasn't just all about Dumervil and Miller.