Game Plan and Match-ups v. Raiders

No matter who is available to play tailback, the Denver Broncos will try to pound the ball against the Oakland Raiders' 32nd-ranked rush defense. The Raiders probably will have a similar strategy, based on their success the first time the teams played.

SERIES HISTORY: 95th meeting. Raiders lead the series 53-39-2, but the Broncos have dominated the recent history. Since taking over as Broncos head coach in 1995, Mike Shanahan is 20-5 against the team that once fired him.

GAME PLAN: No matter who is available to play tailback, the Broncos will try to pound the ball against the Raiders' 32nd-ranked rush defense. Who will get the carries is a question because of injuries at tailback. The Broncos rushed for 181 yards against Oakland in the first meeting.

The Raiders probably will have a similar strategy, based on their success the first time the teams played. Oakland rushed for 200 yards even though their passing game was shut down. The Raiders had less than 100 yards passing in Week 2 against Denver, and with Daunte Culpepper playing well, they should do much better in the air this week.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Raiders WR Jerry Porter vs. Broncos CB Dre Bly -- The two had a good battle in the first meeting. Porter caught a 46-yard touchdown against Bly early in the game, but Bly sent the game to overtime by intercepting a deep pass intended for Porter.

Broncos DE Elvis Dumervil vs. Raiders LT Barry Sims -- Dumervil is one of the most explosive pass rushers in the NFL. If he can get consistent pressure facing Sims, he would test Daunte Culpepper's mobility.

INJURY IMPACT: RB Travis Henry practiced on Wednesday. The Broncos are still not certain he will be healthy enough to play Sunday. Henry has missed three consecutive games with a knee injury.

RB Selvin Young practiced despite a knee injury. Young could return to the lineup this week.

RB Andre Hall missed practice Wednesday but is progressing well from a high ankle sprain.

WR Brandon Stokley didn't practice Wednesday because of a knee injury, but he should be able to practice later this week.



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