After trading for nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson, the narrative surrounding the Denver Broncos would be if they finally could take the next step back toward contention.
They're off to a decent start with a 2-1 record, but their offense has had very little to do with that success.
Instead, it's continued to be the Broncos defense that has fueled the team's goal to get back to the playoffs.
After ranking third in the NFL last season in points allowed, the Broncos currently rank second in 2022 after three games, allowing only 12 points per game.
They're top-10 in the league in both passing yards and rushing yards allowed, and opponents are averaging barely over a point per drive against them.
Granted, they didn't play talent-rich offenses in their first two games against the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans.
You could say they did what they supposed to then in not allowing them to score even 20 points, and they held a San Francisco 49ers offense with multiple high-caliber playmakers to 10 points.
The Broncos have Pro Bowl talent at several spots on their defense, starting up front with a defensive line that can get after opposing QBs.
They signed former Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Randy Gregory to join incumbent Pro Bowler Bradley Chubb, and the duo have so far combined for five sacks.
Their linebackers aren't as heralded, but leading tackler Alex Singleton has graded out as a top-25 LB so far by Pro Football Focus.
Where the Broncos defense can really cause problems is in their secondary, even with star safety Justin Simmons slated to miss this weekend's game against the Las Vegas Raiders after being put on Injured Reserve.
Safety Kareem Jackson still brings a reliable veteran presence, and they have a pair of lockdown cornerbacks in Ronald Darby and Patrick Surtain II.
Most of those players were around last year when the Raiders swept the season series, including putting up 34 points in a win at Denver.
These Raiders don't look like that same confident team, though, and even with the game at home, their offense will need to execute at a high level to have success.
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