**Broncos’ defense has bent but not broken in last two wins** (Ryan O'Halloran, Denver Post)
In the Broncos' five wins this season, they have 14 takeaways and opponents are 6 of 10 in the red zone.
In their six losses, they have four takeaways and opponents are 14 of 24 in the red zone. Against the Chargers, the Broncos forced two turnovers, including a Von Miller interception when Los Angeles led 19-7 and was driving for a put-away score.
Against the Steelers, the Broncos forced four turnovers, including one apiece at the goal line and in the end zone. Defensive tackle Shelby Harris' interception with 1:03 remaining sealed the game.
"I mean, 1,000 yards in two weeks for our defense?" coach Vance Joseph said on Monday. "That's tough. But 18.5 (points per game) and (six) takeaways? You've got to take it and be happy about it, I guess."
The foundation of choice for Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. is Mentor Colorado, an organization that champions expanding quality youth mentoring relationships in the state.
"Everyone needs [mentors]," Harris Jr. said. "Some of these kids are lost and don't know what direction to go, so to be able to provide them with proper leadership and guidance and just someone to talk to [is] what they need."
Harris Jr.'s cleats were designed by kids from Mentor Colorado. The original plan was to have one winner, but he couldn't pick, so with help from his wife Leah they picked two winners, Tatyana Mosley and Morgan Crosby.
"They're underdogs and they know it, but they're just striving to be great," Harris Jr. said of the kids.
**How the Broncos can give up 500 yards and win** (Jeff Legwold, ESPN)
The Broncos were the first team to sack the Chargers' Philip Rivers more than twice in a game this season -- they got him three times -- and they also intercepted Rivers twice. This past Sunday, the Broncos intercepted Ben Roethlisberger twice among Roethlisberger's 41 completions, sacked him twice and forced four fumbles.
The Broncos recovered one of those fumbles and another turned into a touchback, saving a touchdown and giving the Broncos the ball on their own 20.
"They call them takeaways for a reason, right? You've got to make it happen," Joseph said. "That's been a key, seven takeaways."
"Now you just keep them out of the end zone," Broncos safety Darian Stewart said. "When they get in the red zone, you have to shut it down, those plays are getting bigger than ever. You don't want to give up yards all the time, we don't like it and we have to be better there, a lot better, but if the choice is yards or points, points are what matter even if it doesn't always look good sometimes."