Upon Further Review: Broncos Week 14

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
8:00
AM ET
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- An examination of four hot issues from the Denver Broncos' 51-28 win over the Tennessee Titans.

[+] EnlargeDenver's Wes Welker
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty ImagesWes Welker's touchdown gives the Broncos four players with at least 10 touchdowns.
Balanced history: The Broncos' offense continues to vex defensive coordinators around the league because of the assortment of options for quarterback Peyton Manning. And when Manning connected with Wes Welker on a 1-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter Sunday, the Broncos became the first team in the league's history to have four players with at least 10 touchdowns. Welker had his 10th touchdown reception of the season on Sunday, while tight end Julius Thomas and receiver Demaryius Thomas each had his 11th. In addition, running back Knowshon Moreno scored a rushing touchdown, giving him 11 total TDs this season (two receiving, nine rushing). The Broncos have been able to move the ball to wherever the single coverage is and adjust to most any defensive approach.

Second impression: One of the most powerful words any of the Broncos have uttered of late has been "defer." The Broncos love to defer when they win the coin flip, so they have the first possession of the second half. Sunday was the sixth time the Broncos have won the coin toss, elected to defer and then used that opening possession of the second half to score a touchdown. The only time they have won the toss, deferred and not scored a touchdown to open the second half was in their loss in Indianapolis. This season, the Broncos have scored on their first possession of the second half nine times -- eight touchdowns and one field goal.

Tamme now slot machine: When Welker left the game just before halftime with a concussion, the Broncos had used a three-receiver set on every offensive snap to that point. After Welker left, the Broncos moved to a two-tight-end look, but still played like a three-wide look because of what tight end Jacob Tamme can do. Tamme took Welker's spot in the slot, which is how Tamme had lined up in the offense last season much of the time before Welker's arrival. Tamme was effective as he finished with 47 yards on five catches. It will allow the Broncos to use that three-wide section of the playbook moving forward with Welker unlikely to play Thursday night against the Chargers.

Special concerns: For the second consecutive week, a mix-and-match group on special teams allowed a big kickoff return. In Kansas City a week ago it was a 108-yarder by Knile Davis, and Sunday it was a 95-yarder by Leon Washington. The Broncos aren't consistently getting off blocks of late, and returners are finding some gaps the Broncos weren't leaving behind earlier this season. Those are momentum plays, the kind, at the wrong time of a season, even the Broncos' offense won't be able to overcome.

Jeff Legwold

ESPN Denver Broncos reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.