GAME PLAN: The Broncos have always struggled against Baltimore's defense. Their ground game has been the best in the NFL over the last 10 years, but the Ravens are a tough matchup. Denver will have to get some rushing yards to keep Baltimore honest, but it won't be easy. The Ravens don't allow many passing yards either so this will be a true test for Mike Shanahan and his offensive game plan.
Defensively, the Broncos don't have a complicated task. They need to make sure Jamal Lewis doesn't grind out yards while keeping an eye on Todd Heap and Derrick Mason, Baltimore's top two receiving threats. The Broncos usually do well against elite tight ends, and Champ Bailey will take plenty of turns against Mason. MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos WR Javon Walker vs. Ravens CB Chris McAlister. There won't be much scoring in this game. The game could turn on a big play or two, and the Broncos will try to connect with Walker downfield. They'll take a few chances deep to Walker, who is excellent in jump ball situations. McAllister is one of the best in the game and should be up to the challenge.
--Broncos DT Gerard Warren vs. Ravens LG Jason Brown. Brown replaces Edwin Mulitalo, who is done for the season. Brown, who is in his second year, will have his hands full when he matches up with Warren. Warren is having a good season and this could be a breakout game for him.
--Broncos QB Jake Plummer vs. Ravens S Ed Reed. Reed at his best is a ball-hawking safety who can turn a game around with one big play. Plummer needs to be wary of that and not take many chances. In a game that should be as tight as Monday's game, one big turnover could be the difference.
INJURY IMPACT: RB Cedric Cobbs won't play again this week. He has an
ankle injury. He will continue to be evaluated each week.
--DE Courtney Brown participated in some of practice on Wednesday.
He doesn't have any swelling in his injured knee but it is still sore.
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