Game Plan and Match-ups

The Denver Broncos have gained a lot of yards this season but haven't hit many big plays. That won't be easy against Pittsburgh, which also has a very good pass defense.

GAME PLAN: The Steelers are tough to run against. Even though the Broncos would rather run the ball with Travis Henry, they might also want to run some play-action and misdirection with Jay Cutler in the passing game. The Broncos have gained a lot of yards this season but haven't hit many big plays. That won't be easy against Pittsburgh, which also has a very good pass defense.

Defensively, the Broncos need to stop Willie Parker. They haven't been good against the run, so Parker will be a very tough matchup for them.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos LB Nate Webster and S Nick Ferguson vs. Steelers TE Heath Miller -- Miller leads the Steelers with 17 receptions, and in the Broncos' last two games, Indianapolis TE Dallas Clark and San Diego TE Antonio Gates have had big days. The Broncos pass defense is pretty strong on the perimeter, so Miller should get a lot of passes his way.

Broncos C Chris Myers vs. Steelers NT Casey Hampton -- Unless there is a major surprise, Myers will replace Tom Nalen at center. His first start at the position will be very tough, against three-time Pro Bowler Hampton. Like most Broncos linemen, Myers isn't that big, but he is quick and agile, traits he'll have to use to his advantage against Hampton. Hampton is questionable to play this week with an injury, and if he's out, that would be a big boost to the Broncos.

INJURY IMPACT: CB Champ Bailey still hasn't returned to practice from a quadriceps injury. Bailey hurt himself Oct. 7, had the bye week to rest but hasn't practiced this week. The Broncos consider him day-to-day.



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