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Von Miller: Broncos' D to show what it's about versus Packers

It's a big-time game against a big-time offense, says the outside linebacker, and no better time for this team to show the non-believers what its defense can really do.

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Although the Broncos are all off this week after finishing a practice on Tuesday, you can bet they still have their minds on football, on improving their game, and on their next opponent - the also undefeated Green Bay Packers.

"They deserve time, they need time. They've been working hard," said Coach Gary Kubiak about the time off. "I think everybody is smart enough to know what type of game we're in when we come back."

It's a big-time game going against a big-time offense. It should be great. We can go out there and show everybody what the Broncos defense is all about.  -Von Miller, linebacker

It will definitely be a huge game - Sunday Night Football between two unbeaten teams that will feature one of the best NFL quarterbacks right now versus one of the toughest NFL defenses. But this Broncos' defense is not trying to make this big game any "bigger" than it needs to be.

"I look at it as we're playing another good team," said Von Miller who has been a driving force behind all the sacks the Broncos have amassed through six games. "I don't want to make it bigger than what it really is. I don't want to minimize the situation, either. It's a big-time game going against a big-time offense. It should be great. It's going to be a time where we can go out there and show everybody what the Broncos defense is all about."

And what that defense is all about is a lot of takeaways and sacks - three pick-sixes on nine interceptions, eight fumble recoveries on 11 forced fumbles, 26 sacks and 30 passes defensed.

The TL;DR?

This defense wants the ball. And Chris Harris Jr. sees this as the thing making this Orange Crush 2.0 special.

"Just the way that we're causing turnovers. We've never really caused this many turnovers off of the jump in the first six games since I've been here," Harris Jr. said. "Being able to do that and get as many sacks as we have, that's really what's changed the game."

And it's not just the number of takeaways and sacks; it's the timing of them. Against the Browns last week, the defense's two sacks in a row in overtime, ensured the Broncos had another chance to get the first score having squandered the opportunity on the first drive. Against the Ravens and the Browns, interceptions at the end of the game stopped potential game-winning drives by the opponent. Pick-sixes by Aqib Talib and Harris Jr. have put points on the board when the offense just could not.

On top of that, it's not just one or two or even three guys making plays. It's not even just 11. It's the starter, the backups. Heck, for all we know, Wade Phillips could send the water boy in and he'd be able to sack a quarterback.

David Bruton Jr., a veteran who has previously been mainly a star on special teams, has been showing Broncos Country that he wasn't kidding in the offseason when he said he wants to be a starter. Bruton has two interceptions and one forced fumble in his 202 snaps so far this season.

"I just look at it as me going out there to do my job," said Bruton, who has been responsible in part for three game-saving plays, which he attributes to a lot of great communication with the other defenders. "It's just us working together as a team. Nothing is done individually. There are 11 guys out there who could easily make a play to change the game. It so happened to be me for a couple of them."

It's impressive all the way around.

But these guys see it more like their responsibility rather than a nice novelty or a lucky possibility.

"Our cornerbacks are pressing and saying, 'I really have to make this play right here. I have to force a play,' and then they [the opponent] end up making a mistake," Harris Jr. said. "That's what we try to do."

And even though the defense knows some big plays may happen on their watch, they have every belief that they can shut it down again ... and when it counts the most.

There is just a whole bunch of stuff we have on this defense. When we play Green Bay on Sunday Night Football, we'll be able to prove our point. It should be good.  -Von Miller, linebacker

"Eventually, we know if they get a good catch on us, we just go, 'OK, you got us on that play,'" said Harris, Jr. who had a pick-six in the second quarter against the Browns. "Then we know that we're going to be able to shut that down for the rest of the game."

If there is one glaring area to fix for this defense it would be penalties. Mainly, stupid penalties that help the opponent keep their drives alive rather than having to punt away.

"Penalties. The timing of them is just bad," said Miller. "To be third down, we get a roughing the passer and then boom, 15 yards, and then they use that momentum to go down and score. That's really the only way that we're getting beat right now."

Miller has a good point. According to Pro Football Focus, the Broncos' defense is No. 1 with a +85.4 grade. But by penalties, it is the worst in the NFL at -9.0.

"It sounds easier than what it really is," Miller added, "but if we can knock that down, we should see everything else get a little bit better."

And "a little bit better" could be phenomenal.

"I still don't think that we're getting all the love that we should get," Miller admitted, pointing out Aqib Talib's two pick-sixes and three picks plus DeMarcus Ware's 4.5 sacks among the many game-saving plays. "There is just a whole bunch of stuff that we have on this defense. When we play Green Bay, Sunday Night Football, prime time, we'll be able to prove our point. It should be good."