Peyton Manning can be too good for his own good. He doesn't do defenses any favors, including his own. Opponents started 206 drives against the Broncos last season. Only the Buffalo Bills faced more.

While Manning was breaking records, racing up and down the field, the Denver defense was left gasping, its vulnerabilities exposed.

For the Broncos to return to the Super Bowl and triumph a year after losing the big game — something that hasn't happened in the NFL since Tony Orlando and Dawn were tying yellow ribbons around ole oak trees in 1973 — they need to create more pressure and turnovers.

Outside of defending the run, the Broncos ranked below average in nearly every meaningful statistic a season ago, unable to turn a flurry of passing downs into sacks and interceptions.

"Look, we're just moving on," defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said. "Two years ago, we finished in the top of the league, and last year, we didn't. We like being at the top. So we'll work our way back. We've got good players, good design. We're going to work hard. And we expect to be good."

The Broncos don't require an impersonation of the 1985 Chicago Bears or the 2000 Baltimore Ravens to win. They always will be defined by their offense as long as Manning is under center. Shortening the field for him with more takeaways wouldn't hurt, and that's where the improvement begins.

The Broncos finished with a zero turnover margin last season. They forced 26, compared with the Seattle Seahawks' 39, leaving opportunities on the field. Prying the ball loose has been an emphasis in early offseason work.

"Just swarm defense — one guy getting a hat on the ball and the other guy coming in stripping and getting the ball out," Denver defensive end Malik Jackson said.