Denver's defense starting to gel finally

ARNIE STAPLETON (AP Pro Football Writer)
The Associated PressOctober 29, 2013
Denver's defense starting to gel finally
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Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) looks for the ball he fumbled while being sacked by the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- While Peyton Manning was off the charts in the first half of the season, Denver's defense went from dominant to dismal without Von Miller, Champ Bailey and Wesley Woodyard.

Two of the three are back and so is Jack Del Rio's smile.

Manning's 29 TD throws and nearly 3,000 yards passing over the first half of the season have covered up many of the Broncos' blemishes.

Not in Del Rio's eyes.

He had to make do with makeshift lineups and all too often found himself chewing out - or, as Del Rio likes to say, ''encouraging'' - his players coming off the field after abysmal coverages or boneheaded blunders.