ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Over the next few weeks, we'll take a look at the Broncos' 2011 schedule game-by-game, including a recap of what happened the last time the teams clashed, matchups to keep an eye on and more.
Below is a closer look at Week 3's game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field.
|• DATE: Sunday, September 25 |
• TIME: 11 a.m. MDT
• LOCATION: LP Field
• TELEVISION: CBS
• OPP. 2010 RECORD: 6-10
• ALL-TIME VS. OPP.: 14-20-1
THE LAST TIME: The Broncos snagged their first road victory of the 2010 season 26-20 against the Titans at LP Field in Week 4.
The defense held the NFL's 2009 rushing champ Chris Johnson to just 53 yards in a game that put the team's record at 2-2 early in the season.
"You knew Chris Johnson was the key,"
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Who will start at quarterback? For the second consecutive week early in the 2011 season, the Broncos have a chance to face a rookie quarterback. This time it would be the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Washington's Jake Locker. Some questioned the Titans taking the former Huskies signal caller before new Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert -- so it will be fun to see whether Locker will prove his moxie or struggle against Denver's veteran secondary.
KEY MATCHUP: Tennessee running back Chris Johnson vs. Denver's run defense
Just as Ayers said after last season's matchup, whenever a team plays the Titans, slowing down Johnson is typically the key. Holding the Pro Bowler to 53 yards on 19 carries in 2010 equaled a victory. If the Broncos hope to make it four-in-a-row against Tennessee -- they also won in Nashville, Tenn., in 2004 and in Denver in 2007 -- the defense will likely have to turn in a similar effort.
NOTES: The trip to Tennessee will be the team's first road game of the season...The Broncos have never lost to the Titans -- their 20 regular-season losses in the series came when the franchise was still the Houston Oilers.