- Jeff Legwold, ESPN Staff Writer
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Spread it thick: It is what some defensive coordinators envisioned when the Broncos reeled in Wes Welker in free agency: With a quarterback as accomplished -- and as patient at this point in his career -- as Peyton Manning is, defending the Broncos' three-wide look would be a chore. And it has been just that as Manning has targeted Demaryius Thomas, Welker and Eric Decker 38, 37 and 35 times, respectively, and the three have 29, 26 and 24 catches, respectively
Screen it in: When Sunday’s game was still somewhat in the balance, the Eagles did have some success in the screen game against the Broncos' aggressive front seven, including a short toss to running back Bryce Brown that turned into a 34-yard gain early, along with a 21-yarder to running back LeSean McCoy. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has used running back DeMarco Murray plenty in the passing game -- 21 catches, tied for second on the team -- so it will be something for the Broncos to consider this week.
Finish it: Whenever Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is asked about some tweak in the scheme, he will often get the conversation back to “leverage and tackling" at some point. “It’s basic, as old as football," he said. And when things don’t go right for the Broncos' defense, it’s often because they did not fulfill that maxim. They have been steady in that department for much of the early going, but when the Eagles did move the ball Sunday, there was often a missed tackle to blame. That included a Robert Ayers miss on Michael Vick in the first quarter to go with missed tackles from linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Nate Irving later in the quarter on back-to-back plays, both on McCoy.
Go big: When kick returner Trindon Holliday scores a touchdown, it is almost always an enormous, momentum-swinging play, including his 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Eagles. In 16 games with the Broncos, last season's playoff loss included, Holliday now has six touchdown returns, with the shortest one being a 76-yard punt return last season. His three kickoff returns for scores have been for 105, 104 and 105 yards.