Game Plan and Matchups to Watch

The Denver Broncos will try to rattle Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins with their front four, which worked in the first meeting at Oakland. Denver didn't blitz as much as usual because they respect Oakland's receivers and their ability to get open downfield. Read about the game plan and key matchups to watch.

GAME PLAN: If LaMont Jordan doesn't play for the Raiders, the Broncos will have to make sure they don't have a repeat of last year's game against Oakland, when Kerry Collins didn't hand off once in the fourth quarter but beat the Broncos by passing the ball.

The Broncos will try to rattle Collins with their front four, which worked in the first meeting at Oakland. Denver didn't blitz as much as usual because they respect Oakland's receivers and their ability to get open downfield. The Broncos will try to keep everything in front of them, as they did in Oakland earlier this season.

Offensively the Broncos had a balanced mix of runs and passes in the first meeting against Oakland. They averaged only 3.2 yards per rushing attempt against the Raiders but hit some long passes deep. Expect a similar game plan, with Denver running the ball to set up a few long passes.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Raiders DE Derrick Burgess vs. Broncos RT George Foster. Burgess leads the NFL in sacks. In the first game between the teams, Burgess was held without a sack. He went up against right tackle Cornell Green, who was rotating with Foster at the time, for half the game. Foster has the ability to outmuscle Burgess. He outweighs Burgess by about 70 pounds.

Raiders WR Jerry Porter vs. Broncos CB Champ Bailey. Last season, Porter got the best of Bailey. He scored three touchdowns in a late November game at Invesco Field at Mile High. Randy Moss hasn't been a big part of Oakland's offense after suffering injuries against San Diego earlier this season, so the Broncos will concentrate on bottling up Porter.

Broncos front four vs. Raiders QB Kerry Collins. In the first meeting between the teams, Collins was rattled by the constant pressure on him from Denver's defensive line. The Broncos probably won't blitz much, so the linemen will have to pressure Collins. How Collins deals with that pressure might determine if the Raiders have a chance at the upset.

INJURY IMPACT: CB Curome Cox has a slightly separated shoulder, but he has practiced all week and will play. He will be a big part of Denver's nickel defensive package with Darrent Williams on the sideline with a groin injury.

DE Courtney Brown has been slowed a bit by a knee injury. But he continues to practice and play. He is listed as probable and will play in his 14th game this season on Saturday.

CB Darrent Williams could return in a few weeks from a groin injury. He wants to return for Denver's second-round playoff game, although he'll need to be very close to 100 percent for the Broncos to use him in a game.



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