After a bad season-opening loss to St. Louis, the Broncos beat division rival Kansas City, won at New England and beat Baltimore. The Patriots and Ravens are considered to be among the top five teams in the AFC, and the Broncos have wins over each of them.
The Broncos haven't been perfect, and they know it. Offensively, Denver has struggled to move the ball and score points. Denver has four touchdowns in four games, and didn't get in the end zone until the final two minutes against Baltimore on Monday night.
"Obviously we have some work to do on that side of the ball," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.
The Broncos figure their offense will come around. Until then, the defense is confident it can carry the team. Denver has allowed one touchdown in its first four games. The only other team since 1940 to accomplish that was the 2000 Miami Dolphins.
Denver admitted after beating Baltimore on Monday night that it wanted to have a good showing against the Ravens, whose defense was touted most of the week as one of the best in the NFL.
"We did take it personal, all our guys," said cornerback Darrent Williams, whose fourth-quarter interception set up Denver's only touchdown. "We haven't been getting a lot of respect all week, it's been all about the Baltimore defense. We got a good defense ourselves, and we feel like we're the best defense in the league."
Sauerbrun was reinstated Tuesday from a four-game NFL suspension. Ernster punted and kicked off well in his absence, including a solid performance against Baltimore on Monday night. Against the Ravens he kept dangerous returner B.J. Sams from getting any big plays.
"We're disappointed," Sauerbrun's agent David Canter said. "Just disappointed."
Prior to the decision, Ernster felt he had done enough to keep his job.
"Hopefully I've done a good enough job to put some questions in their mind as to whether or not they should bring Todd back," Ernster said.
--The Broncos have a lot of confidence in K Jason Elam, and he rewarded their faith on Monday night. The weather was cold and rainy, but Elam calmly hit both of his field-goal attempts, from 43 and 44 yards. Elam said he expects to kick in much worse conditions later this season.
"Just getting ready for what's to come in November and December," Elam said.
--Broncos S John Lynch left Monday's game with a pinched nerve in
his neck. He walked off under his own power.
"I'm all right," Lynch said.
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