Game Plan and Matchups v. Raiders

Check out the Denver Broncos Game Plan and the key matchups against the Oakland Raiders.

GAME PLAN: Without Brandon Marshall in the lineup, the Broncos are going to have to be creative on offense in the passing game and effective in the running game. Getting favorable matchups with tight ends and running backs coming out of the backfield will be a key. Defensively, the Broncos are going to be challenged to stop the run against Oakland's stable of running backs. They were 30th in the NFL in rushing defense last year but seem improved.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos LT Ryan Clady vs. Raiders DE Derrick Burgess. Clady will be making his NFL regular-season debut. He held up pretty well in pass protection in the preseason, and he has to be up to the challenge of slowing down Burgess if the Broncos are going to move the ball.

Raiders CB DeAngelo Hall vs. Broncos WR Eddie Royal. With Nnamdi Asomugha locking down the other side, Hall should be targeted more often. The Broncos don't have Brandon Marshall, so Royal will have to be a playmaker in the passing game.

INJURY IMPACT: LB Boss Bailey practiced in full on Wednesday. He missed all but the first two plays of the preseason, and might be limited even if he is ready by Monday's game.

LB Louis Green missed practice Wednesday with a hamstring injury, and is in danger of missing the season opener. He is a key special-teams performer.

WR Darrell Jackson is dealing with a sore ankle, but is practicing and should be able to play.

C Tom Nalen has a bad knee and the Broncos are in wait-and-see mode. He hasn't been practicing and it doesn't seem like his return is imminent. The Broncos haven't put a definitive timetable on his return.

DE Elvis Dumervil will wear a cast on his broken pinkie. He might not be 100 percent effective, but it's very unlikely that he won't play against Oakland.

S Marquand Manuel will play with a cast on his broken thumb. He said he didn't know if his role would be limited against Oakland, but he is ready to start.



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