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.
"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.