Game Plan and Match-ups

The Denver Broncos face the Jacksonville Jaguars and former Bronco defensive end Reggie Hayward on Sunday.

SERIES HISTORY: 6th meeting. The Broncos lead the regular-season series 3-2, but the Jaguars hold a big playoff win over Denver. In one of the most infamous games in Colorado sports history, Jacksonville knocked off Denver, the top seed in the 1996 AFC playoffs, 30-27. The Broncos got revenge the following year in an AFC wild-card playoff game with a 42-17 victory.

GAME PLAN: The Broncos, who were often conservative last year because they didn't trust quarterback Jake Plummer, have shown that they trust Jay Cutler to pass in any situation. Jacksonville has been very good against the pass this year, but against Tennessee and Atlanta. Denver will be their toughest offensive opponent to date, and they probably won't be shy about passing the ball. Denver's defense will have to be better against the run because the Jaguars will try to grind out yards with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos MLB D.J. Williams vs. Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. Williams has played well at middle linebacker, but Jones-Drew will be a tough challenge. The Broncos are confident they won't give up many big plays in the passing game, so the biggest fear might be Jones-Drew breaking a few long runs.

Broncos LT Matt Lepsis and RT Erik Pears vs. Jaguars DEs Bobby McCray and Reggie Hayward. Both McCray and Hayward, a former Bronco, can rush the quarterback. Lepsis has looked very good at left tackle, coming off a major knee injury, and Pears has been solid since a shaky training camp.

INJURY IMPACT: S Hamza Abdullah has a hip flexor injury and didn't practice Wednesday. He has been listed as out of this week's game.
CB Domonique Foxworth is recovering from a sprained ankle. He practiced Wednesday and should play this week.
TE Stephen Alexander was nursing a calf injury last week, which is a reason he was released for last Sunday's game but re-signed Monday. He was limited in practice Wednesday.
G Ben Hamilton hasn't returned to practice yet. He is still recovering from a concussion.
OT Ryan Harris is close to returning after having minor back surgery in August. He could return next week.

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