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Since Peyton Manning arrived in Denver four years ago, the Broncos have consistently been a Super Bowl contender. But unlike Denver's Super Bowl run two years ago, which was mainly orchestrated by Manning and a juggernaut offense, the Broncos are the AFC champions largely due to a suffocating defense and roster built with balance.
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A look back at some of the great defenses since 1980 in the NFL shows several common threads with all of them, and a closer look at Denver's current unit shows they're following that same path to success.
 

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