Broncos Update Insider - 11/26

Denver's passing game is coming off its worst performance of the season.

Against Oakland, quarterback Jay Cutler tried many deep passes but connected on very few. That led to a 43.2 completion percentage, the worst of his career.

The Broncos kept taking shots against Oakland cornerback Chris Johnson in man coverage. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said the receivers could have made some plays.

"I think there were a lot of plays out there that people could have made," Shanahan said. "We had a few drops. Obviously your quarterback is always trying to make plays. I thought he made some plays (Sunday)."

The Broncos didn't score a passing touchdown for the first time all season. Many of the balls were targeted for Brandon Marshall, who caught four passes but didn't connect with Cutler on enough plays to make a difference for Denver, which lost 31-10 to Oakland.

"We didn't hook up, that's how the game went," Cutler said. "We took our shots, we were good on third down, we just didn't make the plays when we needed to."

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Broncos aren't going to rush CB Champ Bailey back to action. They know they can't afford to lose him for more time to a re-injury, so they are being cautious in his return from a groin injury. He practiced on a limited basis last week but didn't play against Oakland.

"I felt like if we put him out there he might set himself back," coach Mike Shanahan said.

--K Matt Prater has missed five field goals over the last four games, including two against Oakland on Sunday. Prater had a great start to the season, making 13 of 14 through seven games.

Prater has been good in practice, but he needs to carry that over.

"Obviously disappointing," coach Mike Shanahan said. "It looks like he's lost some of his confidence. Young kickers go through that every once in a while, and he's going through that right now."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES

--S Roderick Rogers got his first career start, and Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he was hoping for a better performance. The Broncos have had problems at free safety all season, and it got worse with Marlon McCree's ankle injury.

--LB Spencer Larsen left the game in the fourth quarter against Oakland with an ankle injury but said he was fine and the injury wasn't serious.

--RB Selvin Young missed another game with a groin injury. The Broncos need to see him have a healthy practice before he returns to game action.

--LB Jamie Winborn led the Broncos with eight tackles, including one for a loss. Winborn took a starting spot when Boss Bailey went down for the season and has filled in well.

--LB Mario Haggan had five tackles against Oakland. He spelled Spencer Larsen a bit during the game to keep Larsen from getting too tired if he were needed at fullback.



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