Game Plan and Matchups v. Saints

Check out the Denver Broncos Game Plan and the key matchups against the New Orleans Saints.

SERIES HISTORY: 9th meeting. Broncos lead series, 6-2, and have beaten the Saints three of four times in Denver. The Saints haven't played at Denver since 2001, the first season at Invesco Field at Mile High.

GAME PLAN: This game could feature 80 passes or more. The Broncos should be confident in their passing game. Jay Cutler leads the NFL in passing yards through two weeks. With the Saints struggling with injuries in the secondary, expect plenty more spread formations from the Broncos.

On the other side, the Broncos have made a commitment to stop the run this season by putting a safety in the box regularly. They're giving up some support in the passing game, which showed during San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers' 377-yard game against Denver last week. Both teams will probably score plenty, the team that avoids turnovers might be the one to come out on top.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos WR Brandon Marshall vs. Saints cornerbacks. Whether Aaron Glenn or Randall Gay or Mike McKenzie or Tracy Porter is covering Marshall, the Broncos will throw to him a lot. He has the matchup advantage against any of those corners. Marshall probably won't get 18 catches again like he did against the Chargers, but 10 wouldn't be a huge surprise.

Broncos special teams vs. Saints RB Reggie Bush. Bush is explosive in the return game, which could be bad news for Denver. The Broncos' coverage units have struggled, and gave up a 103-yard kickoff return to San Diego's Darren Sproles last week. The Broncos defense struggled to contain Sproles too, so Bush could have a productive day.

INJURY IMPACT: C Tom Nalen is still limited at practice as he works his way back from a knee injury. It could be a while before he returns to play in a game.

WR Darrell Jackson missed Wednesday's practice with a calf injury. With so much depth at receiver, the Broncos don't need to rush him back this week if he isn't ready.

DT Josh Shaw had 40 stitches for a cut in his lower leg that he sustained in Sunday's game. Shaw could miss this week's game. He didn't practice Wednesday.

LB Louis Green returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis. Denver's special teams coverage units are struggling and Green could provide a boost.



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