Then, the wheels fell off.

When Broncos safety David Bruton blocked Sam Koch's punt, two plays later Manning capitalized with a five-yard touchdown pass to slot receiver Wes Welker.

“The blocked punt was a big deal," Harbaugh said. "We were ahead there and to go three and out which was disappointing, then the block punt and they score. It was just too easy for them.

"The biggest issue that we had was that we gave up too many easy things. That’s the issue.. That’s just the bottom line, we can’t give them the easy plays.”

No setbacks for Webb

Cornerback Lardarius Webb made it through unscathed in his first regular-season game since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last October.

Webb played solidly overall, deflecting one pass.

"I feel great, happy to be back out there," Webb said. "But we lost."

Higher pay for Furstenburg

Rookie tight end Matt Furstenburg is at a higher level of compensation under his practice squad contract, a sign of respect and an acknowledgement that other teams might offer him a spot on their active roster.

The former Maryland player makes $8,000 per week instead of the standard $6,000 practice squad salary for a total of $136,000.

awilson@baltsun.com

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