As in the game two weeks ago against the Colts, the key for the Broncos will be the running game, and keeping Peyton Manning and Co. off the field as much as possible. Read about the game plan and key matchups.
There's no secret here. The Broncos ran wild (227 yards) in the last meeting, even without Clinton Portis
. Now that he's back from an ankle injury, they'll run just as much, setting up play action in the process. Defensively, the Broncos confused Peyton Manning
early by holding their defensive looks until the last minute. It helped that the Colts were on the field for only 15 minutes. That will be the key again for Denver, ball control offense.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos RB Clinton Portis vs. Colts rookie Donald Strickland. Strickland likely moves into the starting job with Mike Doss sidelined by an ankle injury, and he'll have his hands full providing run support against Denver's high-powered rushing attack. Portis has had two weeks to rest, and he'll be looking to show up mentor Edgerrin James. Considering rookie Quentin Griffin gained 136 yards against the Colts two weeks ago, Portis figures to go one better.
--Colts WR Marvin Harrison vs. Broncos CB Lenny Walls. Walls did a good job on Harrison in the last meeting, even intercepting a deep pass. But Harrison also caught a 63-yarder.
--Colts WR Reggie Wayne vs. Broncos CB Kelly Herndon. Herndon will be playing with a cast on his left hand to protect two broken bones, and he'll have difficulty intercepting, so look for Peyton Manning to go at Herndon often.
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