The Denver Broncos held former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, and the rest of the Houston Texans offense, to less than 10 points with a 27-9 victory on Monday night.

That isn’t a huge surprise.

Going back to 2014, when Gary Kubiak returned to Denver and installed Wade Phillips as his defensive coordinator, Denver has limited their opponents to 10 points or less six different times.

No, the difference on Monday was the fact that the Broncos vaunted pass rush was kept in check for most of the night.

Von Miller’s seven-game sack streak came to an end, and the Broncos defense was held without a single sack for the first time since they lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 Divisional playoff game.

Yet, Denver still allowed just 271 total yards and 131 yards passing.

It isn’t that the pass rush was completely contained, the defense did still register five quarterback hurries, but the Broncos defensive front did not dominate the game the way that they have in the past.

So how were they able to limit the Texans to just seven for 18 on third downs and only 3.1 yards per pass?

For all of the speculation that the Orange Crush defense might take a step backward this season, the defensive backfield seems to be playing even better.

Aqib Talib has been the most dangerous cornerback in the NFL so far this season, defending 11 passes, making three interceptions and returning one for a touchdown.

Chris Harris has quietly been having a spectacular season, defending six passes and intercepting one. And the reason that Talib is getting so much action, is primarily because opposing quarterbacks want nothing to do with Harris.

Strong safety TJ Ward is leading the team in tackles with 42, and has two forced fumbles.

And Darian Stewart always seems to make those big hits that separate the ball from the intended receiver. He is rarely out of position, and at free safety he is a big reason why the Denver defense has allowed just seven passing plays of over 25 yards this season.

And it hasn’t come against poor competition.

While they may have lost to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5, they still held the No. 1 ranked offense well below their average of nearly 434 yards per game. The Falcons managed 372 yards and were held to just two third down conversions all day.

And against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, the Denver defense limited the No. 2 offense in the league to only 17 points at home.

Why is any of this important?

Look at the most important foes on the upcoming schedule.

The Oakland Raiders are racking up nearly 400 yards per game, and are looking to challenge for the AFC West. The Kansas City Chiefs always seem to get better in the second half of the season under Andy Reid, and will be very dangerous down the stretch. The San Diego Chargers come to town on Sunday averaging over 29 points per game.

And we all know the challenge that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will present later this regular season, and possibly in the postseason.

The “No Fly Zone” is playing as well as ever this season, and the Denver Broncos are going to need it to continue if they are going to remain in contention for a championship.