Finally the questions became too much. Too much doubt. Too much skepticism.

"I took it personally" linebacker Shaun Phillips said. "Everyone was like 'What are we going to do about the pass rush?' I've got like 70-something sacks in my career. What am I some bum or something like that?"

With former Bronco Elvis Dumervil now on the Ravens and Von Miller suspended coming into Thursday night's contest there was concern — with good reason — as to whether the Broncos would be able to generate enough of a pass rush to get things done.

But the Broncos defense checked that box to the affirmative.

Four sacks of Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco said the Broncos did what they needed to do to get to him. Phillips the most decorated of those candidates looking to fill the void had two and a half sacks. Wesley Woodyard shared a sack with Phillips and Robert Ayers corralled Flacco on a play in which the quarterback scrambled out of the pocket and right into his arms for his first of the year.

But it was the constant pressure that meant just as much. The Broncos defense flushed Flacco out of the pocket with regularity in the second half causing errant and rushed passes all over the place.

"We have a great scheme and we have good players" defensive end Derek Wolfe said. "We did a really good job of replacing the guys that we lost. Shaun Phillips and Robert Ayers he was getting in there doing a great job. It was a great team effort."

Moreno gets first crack. In a move that wasn't surprising in the least given his success against the Ravens last season the Broncos gave veteran running back Knowshon Moreno the first carry of the game. He had three of the Broncos four carries in the first quarter gaining 14 yards.

Moreno finished with 28 yards on nine carries.

"He's a guy that has a little bit more experience" Broncos coach John Fox said. "We have some youth at that position. It does not mean anything as far as where they are on the depth chart or any of that. In our mind we have three starting running backs. But Knowshon is a little bit more seasoned. But the other guys played well."