Broncos' pass defense near all-time worst

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

There was an interesting statistic during the CBS broadcast of Thursday's Tennessee-Detroit game.

So far, the Lions' defense has the highest cumulative passers' rating against it in the history of the NFL. The Denver Broncos' opponents have a cumulative rating of 102.3, which is on pace for the fourth-worst in NFL history.

The Lions' horrible rating of 110.2 is coming in a season where the Lions are 0-12 and are just four defeats away from finishing 0-16. Detroit's problems on pass defense are clearly contributing to their historically bad season. Denver, on the other hand, hasn't been as adversely affected by its porous pass defense. Denver is 6-5.

It is another illustration of the fine job Denver coach Mike Shanahan has done. Denver's defense is both not very good and it has been ravaged by injuries. The team has been playing the past several weeks without its two best defensive players, cornerback Champ Bailey and D.J. Williams.

Denver may have its problems on defense, but Shanahan and his staff are showing that it can win despite having one of the worst, statistically speaking, pass defenses in the history of the NFL.