ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Broncos coach Mike Shanahan intervened on behalf of his disparaged defensive players Monday, taking umbrage at placing the blame on them for the Kansas City loss.
They weren't the culprits in this case.
``Any offense that does that to a defense, there's no chance,'' Shanahan said of the Broncos' 33-19 loss in which the offense turned the ball over four times. ``People will point to the defense, but that's so far from the truth.''
The defense appreciates Shanahan's support, but knows the truth - they had a chance to bail out the offense and didn't.
``I'm disappointed. We could've played better,'' safety Marlon McCree said. ``The thing about a loss like that is it humbles you and makes you focus and tighten things up.''
The Broncos (3-1) need to fix their leaky defense - fast. They're giving up nearly 30 points a game and 408.8 yards of offense.
sonnel, cutting Hamza Abdullah and adding Vernon Fox, who didn't dress Sunday.
So far, this defense appears no different than the one from a year ago, which finished near the bottom of the league and led to a parting of ways with defensive boss Jim Bates.
``We've got to find a way to be more consistent,'' Dre' Bly said. ``Defensively, we haven't had the year we want to have.''
Not by any stretch. Not by any stat. Denver has the third-worst defense in the league.
``We've got to play better,'' Shanahan said. ``We've got some work to do. But it was not quite as bad as it looked in those final stats.''
Make no mistake, though, the final defensive stats against Kansas City weren't dazzling.
The Broncos surrendered just 160 yards through the air, an improvement for a defense that entered the game ranked last in the league against the pass.
However, Larry Johnson ripped through them, gaining 198 yards and scoring two touchdowns. The Chiefs had a season-best 213 yards rushing on the afternoon.
The lapse against the run was a jolt to the team, which hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher this season until Johnson.
``We didn't do our normal (thing) in the running game,'' Bly said. ``The first three weeks I think we did a pretty good job in the run.''
Then again, the Broncos jumped out to big leads in winning their first three games, forcing teams to throw to get back into the game.
But the Broncos' top-ranked offense staked the defense to nothing Sunday, even putting them in an early bind with two first-half fumbles.
``They definitely kept us in the game,'' Tony Scheffler said of the defense's effort.
That's because the offense feels like there's no deficit they can't overcome, turnovers aside that is. Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall coughed up the football and Jay Cutler threw two interceptions, putting added pressure on an already struggling defense.
However, the Chiefs scored only 10 points off Denver's miscues.
``We did a good job of staying focused when we had short fields,'' Bly said.
That's why Shanahan defended his maligned defense.
Now, he'd like to see more improvement.
``I sure hope so,'' he said. ``Yeah, we'll be better.''
Sunday after spraining his neck on kickoff coverage. He flew back with the team.

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