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Ready for the Challenge

Posted Sep 21, 2011

The Broncos went into Nashville last season and came away with a road win against the Titans. They'll be looking for a repeat performance in Week 3 this year.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In 2010, the Broncos grabbed their first road victory of the season in Tennessee.

Despite trailing 20-16 with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Broncos went out to outscore the Titans 10-0 to close out a 26-20 win.

They hope history repeats itself in 2011.

Head Coach John Fox said he can't speak much on last year's game, but from watching the tape he was impressed with Denver's will to win on the road.

“I saw a great fourth-quarter win, and that’s a tough place to play," Fox said. "I’ve been there many times. It is a tough venue.”

The atmosphere will be kicked up a notch this season, as the Titans are coming off a big win against the Baltimore Ravens, and the contest has been designated as the "Code Blue" game, which means the Tennessee crowd -- and team -- will be decked out in Titans blue.

"There’s no secret formula to it," Kyle Orton said of winning on the road. "You’ve just got to play well and cancel out all the stuff that’s going on around you and not hurt yourself. I think any time you play on the road, the emphasis has to be winning first down and staying out of penalties. Penalties set you back, and second-and-20s are tough to convert on the road. We’ll have to do a good job of not hurting ourselves to go on and win the game.”

Many of the challenges the Titans present remain the same from last season -- slow down Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt, and be prepared for a hard-nosed game.

“It was a physical game (last year); it’ll be a physical game this coming week," Orton said. "They’re a good defensive football team, so it’ll be a tough test for our offense to travel to a tough place to play a good defense and do whatever we have to do to win.”

But the Titans, like the Broncos, are a different team.

One of the biggest changes in Tennessee comes at quarterback, with veteran Matt Hasselbeck now at the helm.

"He's a crafty veteran -- he's a guy who can make plays," Joe Mays said. "So we're going to hands full this upcoming weekend. We just go to make sure we're ready."

Mays said the team has enjoyed having the Broncos faithful behind them the past two weeks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but the club is ready to test its mettle in a hostile environment.

"That's going to be a huge challenge for us," he said. "We've been spoiled playing here at home the past two weeks. Now it's time to get out there and see what we can do on the road."

Fox put it simply: "We need to bring our big-boy pads and be ready."


Elvis Dumervil (shoulder), Brandon Lloyd (groin), Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) and D.J. Williams (elbow) all returned to practice Wednesday with limited participation. Champ Bailey (hamstring) Eddie Royal (groin), Demaryius Thomas (finger) Julius Thomas (ankle) and Marcus thomas (groin) did not participate.

For Tennessee, Kenny Britt (thigh), Chris Hope (shoulder) and Damian Williams (hamstring) had limited participation, while Chris Johnson did not practice Wednesday.


The Broncos on Wednesday signed running back Jeremiah Johnson to the practice squad, waiving wide receiver D'Andre Goodwin from the practice squad to make room for the move.