Wade Phillips took a top-five unit, as coached by Jack Del Rio, and turned them into the best defense in the National Football League. For the first time in franchise history, the Denver Broncos defense finished as the No. 1 total defense in the league.
They also finished as the No. 1 passing defense and led the league in sacks, with 52. They finished No. 3 against the run.
There's no question Phillips' impact has been immense. The Broncos winning the No. 1 seed and advancing to the AFC Championship game can be attributed to Phillips' defense.
It hasn't gone unnoticed. Pro Football Focus hands out end-of-season awards each year, but they're always focused on the players. This year, for the first time, they decided to award coaches.
"Phillips took elite talent and turned it into an elite defense, which in our opinion, is far more difficult than it sounds. Although he had the ability to get pressure with four, he still somehow found a sweet-spot in generating pressure by using the blitz often. That, together with his rotation of weapons, delivered a devastating smorgasbord of woe to nearly every offense they went up against. Again, this appears straightforward, but compare and contrast to a similar situation in Buffalo, which ended with completely different results."
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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