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Broncos, Briefly: Friday, Dec. 6, 2019

Even with the injuries and adjustments, the Broncos are still a top-tier defense. They rank No. 11 in total defense (324.3 yards allowed per game), No. 9 in scoring defense -- as one of nine teams giving up fewer than 20 points per game -- and No. 5 in pass defense. Keeping those rankings down the stretch will be no small feat with trips to Houston and Kansas City, but the marvel is that they've done so well up to this point.

It was Miller's first missed game since 2013. He said he had "to let (the Broncos' staff) make that call" after an aggressive warm-up routine didn't give the linebacker confidence he could play against the Chargers without hampering his effort and/or possibly further injuring himself.

"It's funny that it's kind of become something,'' Scangarello said at his press conference Thursday. "It was great communication. The reason we won was the communication. What was interpreted and all that … it really didn't go down like that."

Rookie QB Lock leads Broncos after win in NFL debut (Kristie Rieken, Associated Press)

It wasn't that long ago that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was in the position Denver's Drew Lock is in now. Watson was thrust into the starting role after the season was underway as a rookie in 2017, just as Lock was last week for the Broncos.

Watson made his debut in the middle of a game and won his first start the following week. Lock became Denver's third starter this season following Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen and led the Broncos to a win over the Chargers.

Watson knows how important it is for a quarterback to get that first win on his resume.

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