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Chuck Pagano: Broncos' D reminiscent of 2000 Ravens

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With the Denver Broncos facing the Colts this week, the spotlight is on Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis with a chance to break the NFL record for quarterback wins and career passing yards.

While Manning threw better last week than he has in a calendar year, Colts coach Chuck Pagano's primary concern is a dominant Denver defense that forced Aaron Rodgers into the worst performance of his career.

The Broncos' offense has accounted for just 43 percent of the team's points, as the defense, special teams and kicker have carried the load in their 7-0 start.

Every game, all season

As Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck noted last month, it's hard to believe how much firepower Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has at his disposal this season.

"When you put tape on they are very reminiscent of the 2000 Ravens," Pagano said Wednesday, via the Denver Post. "Talent on all levels."

Pagano coached in Baltimore for four years, so he understands the significance of that comparison.

The 2000 Ravens and 1985 Bears are the gold standard for defense over the past four decades. That Ravens outfit stifled offenses, limiting 15 of 20 opponents to 10 points or fewer. Buddy Ryan's "46" defense in Chicago was notorious for its relentless pursuit of quarterbacks, sending several to the hospital.

Phillips' blitz-heavy Broncos combine those two approaches, bringing waves of pass rushers off the edge, shutting down the interior and smothering wide receivers down the field.

This is nightmare fuel for a Colts quarterback trying to pull out of a season-long tailspin.

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