Peyton Manning is 99-3 in his career (.971) when the defense allows 17 points or less in a game. As a Bronco the Peyton Manning-led offense is 14-0 when the defense allows 17 points or less. In his much maligned playoff history, Manning is a sterling 8-1 when the defense allows 17 points or less. Throw everything else out the window. In order for the Broncos to continue to win games and lay claim to a Lombardi Trophy, the defense must allow 17 points or less per game from here on out.
8 of those 14 games came back in 2012. From week 4 to the finish of the regular season, the Broncos held the Raiders (twice), Saints, Panthers, Chiefs (twice), Ravens, and Browns to 17 points or less. In 2013, the Broncos defense held only 5 teams to 17 points or less including a four game stretch that spanned through the AFC Championship Game. It has been a rare occurrence the past year and change and the re-vamped defense of 2014 has only kept the Chiefs from scoring more than the magical mark.
The rest of the schedule
From 2013 on (including playoffs)...
Arizona Cardinals have scored 17 points or less 3 times (15%)
New York Jets 8 times (40%)
San Francisco 49ers 5 times (22%)
San Diego Chargers 6 times (29%)
New England Patriots 4 times (18%)
Oakland Raiders 8 times (40%)
St. Louis Rams 8 times (42%)
Miami Dolphins 7 times (35%)
Kansas City Chiefs 6 times (30%)
Buffalo Bills 6 times (30%)
Cincinnati Bengals 5 times (24%)
Turnovers a premium
In the 14 games the Broncos defense has allowed an opponent 17 points or less, the turnover differential has been only +3. In order to hold some of the tougher teams to 17 points or less, the Broncos defense must force turnovers--they are +1 on the season over the course of three regular season games.
The information is there. 17 points or less, that should be the goal going forward. The Broncos meet that mark extensively for the rest of the season and the wins WILL follow. There are few certainties in life and in football but this is one of them.