The Denver Broncos feature one of the top defenses in the league and they attribute their jump in production to their new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Phillips replaced the ineffective Jack Del Rio and immediately started to crack up the pressure on opposing teams, allowing the Broncos secondary to take advantage of mistakes.
Gary Kubiak is the Broncos head coach after spending eight years in charge of the Texans and one year as the offensive coordinator of the Ravens. Phillips served as Kubiak's defensive coordinator for three seasons before ultimately taking over as interim coach after Kubiak was fired in 2013. Phillips' defenses ranked in the top 10 in yards those three seasons after ranking in the bottom 10 in four of the prior five seasons.
The Kubiak-Phillips duo made the playoffs two years in a row and deserves plenty of credit for turning that franchise into a winner.
They also have a bad history against the New England Patriots.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady currently holds a 5-1 record against Wade Phillips as a defensive coordinator and has averaged 37.8 over the past five games (all wins). Brady's only loss came against the 2005 Chargers, where San Diego's offense- led by Drew Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, and Antonio Gates- flattened the Patriots 41-17.
Three of these games came while Phillips and Kubiak were teamed up with the Texans.
Kubiak has had more success than Phillips, owning a 5-7 record against the Bill Belichick-led Patriots. Of course, four of those wins came while serving as the offensive coordinator of the Broncos through the year 2005. Since leaving Denver, Kubiak owns a matching 1-5 record against the Patriots, with Kubiak's only win coming in the 2009 finale where New England lost Wes Welker and rested their starters.
Since 2006, the two have combined for a 1-7 record against the Patriots.
Brady will be playing without some of his most valuable assets on offense and the Broncos defense is better than most units Phillips has been able to lead, but close games usually go to the side with the better quarterback and the better coaches. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are waiting.