Game Plan and Match-ups

Denver Broncos middle linebacker D.J. Williams faces his first big challenge against the Bills on Sunday.

SERIES HISTORY: 33rd meeting. Bills lead series, 17-14-1. The Broncos have won the last four. They also played once in the playoffs, a 10-7 Bills victory in the AFC Championship Game at the end of the 1991 season. Denver won the last meeting, 28-17, near the end of the 2005 season.

GAME PLAN: The Broncos have been blown out in two straight regular-season openers. That's unusual for Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, who is usually very well prepared to start the season. Denver's defense had some problems in the preseason, and how well the defense starts against Buffalo will be a telltale sign for the rest of the game, and maybe the first few weeks of the season. Denver's offense will try to pound the ball on the ground with former Bills tailback Travis Henry and pick its spots for some big pass plays.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos CB Dre' Bly vs. Bills WR Lee Evans. The Broncos could choose to move around Champ Bailey to shadow Evans, who is by far Buffalo's most dangerous receiver. If not, the Bills could take some shots down the field to Evans against Bly, who will take some chances and can be vulnerable to deep plays.

Broncos MLB D.J. Williams vs. Bills RB Marshawn Lynch. Williams is in his first year at middle linebacker, and the Broncos' scheme is designed to funnel plays to that position. Williams looked uncomfortable at times in the preseason, but he'll be a big factor in slowing down Lynch, Buffalo's rookie tailback.



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