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Broncos defense gives Wade Phillips a reason to smile

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What will make him the happiest is how his defense bailed out this team for the umpteenth time to improve to 6-2.

San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos defense comes to the rescue ... again.

No one is happier about that than Wade Phillips. The scary incident on the Broncos’ sideline may have served as added motivation for his unit. Per the organization, Denver’s defensive coordinator had precautionary tests that all came back normal and he was released from the hospital on Sunday night. The organization added Phillips is expected to be back at work on Monday.

What will make him the happiest is how his defense bailed out this team for the umpteenth time and allowed the Broncos to avoid an 0-2 start in the AFC West. Instead, Denver improves to 6-2 on the season and 1-1 in the division with the 27-19 win. This outcome is made even more important by the fact both the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs won on Sunday. A loss would have been killer, but alas there’s no need to fret.

All thanks to the Broncos defense, and on a day they needed it in a big way. This is the best the unit has looked since Super Bowl 50. Yes, Denver allowed an opponent to rush for over 100 yards for the first time in 22 games and another opening drive for a touchdown, but that’s about all you could say negative about the Broncos defense. While the defense did give up yards to Melvin Gordon, the San Diego Chargers only compiled five first downs on the ground. The Broncos gave them two via penalty.

To put this another way, the defense dominated.

Denver put consistent pressure on Philip Rivers throughout the game, hit him at a consistent clip and forced him to make bad throws that led to three interceptions, including a 49-yard pick-six by Bradley Roby. Rivers also was sacked four times and hit 13. Anything the San Diego Chargers got through the air, they earned.

Keep in mind, Denver didn’t have Brandon Marshall or Aqib Talib on the field either. That will only add to the confidence the defense has right now.

As for the Broncos offense, there’s not much to say other than it didn’t commit as many mistakes as San Diego - partly because it couldn’t hold onto the ball when it had the chance. Denver’s offense did just enough. That can’t continue the second-half of the season, especially when the Broncos play two games at home over the next two months (they play one at home in January).

When Denver can’t run the football, you see what the offense looks like ... hold-on-to-your-butts, this won’t be pretty. In other words, the defense needs to bail it out to have a chance to win games. Don’t let a few plays fool you. The Broncos offense was atrocious on Sunday, and that’s being nice.

As the old cliche goes, all that matters is the win. It doesn’t matter how it happens or how the team looks doing it. It’s hard to win in the NFL, let alone in the division against an opponent that just beat you 17 days ago. And as mentioned earlier, when the other two teams at the top of the division won, you take it and don’t think twice about it.

At some point, Lady Luck will run out. Good thing for Denver it didn’t happen on Sunday.

Somewhere, the son of Bum has a smile on his face.