The Denver Broncos’ defense fared pretty well in containing one of the league’s most potent offenses on Monday night. This time, it’s their offense that faces a big challenge as they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Denver held Priest Holmes to 61 yards and stopped Kansas City’s passing attack in a 30-10 victory on Monday night. Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, who threw 27 touchdown passes last season, was kept off the scoreboard until connecting with Samie Parker for a 21-yard TD with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter.
The Broncos sacked Green twice and limited backup running back Larry Johnson to 13 yards.
“The whole plan was to take away their best player,” Denver linebacker Ian Gold said of Holmes. “We took away the run. It’s strange to see Kansas City unable to run.”
With Denver’s defense turning in a dominant performance, quarterback Jake Plummer had an efficient game by going 13-of-18 for 152 yards and a TD. He also ran for a score on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to give Denver a 17-0 lead 2:42 before halftime.
“I didn’t do much but just guided them down the field,” Plummer said.
Plummer might need to do a little more against Jacksonville.
The Jaguars are second in the NFL in total defense, allowing 252.7 yards per game, and are coming off a 26-20 overtime win last Sunday in which they held the New York Jets to 168 total yards.
Byron Leftwich overcame a groin injury and threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith 5:12 into overtime to give the Jaguars the win. Despite a noticeable limp when he scrambled, Leftwich finished 16-of-23 for 177 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
“These kind of games, when you pull them out, do wonders for the confidence,” Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. “The guys start believing and understanding that it doesn’t always go exactly how you’d like to go, but you’ve got to find a way to scratch out a win.”
Fred Taylor, who underwent knee surgery in January after missing the final two games in 2004, helped take some of the workload off Leftwich as he had a career-high 37 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown. Taylor has rushed for over 1,200 yards in each of the last three seasons.
“I’m sure every player in this league, every player that considers himself a competitor, they want the ball in crunch time. I want the ball all the time,” Taylor said.
Neither of Denver’s starting cornerbacks practiced Thursday, but both Champ Bailey and rookie Darrent Williams said they plan to play Sunday. Bailey, one of the NFL’s best at his position, injured his hamstring in last week’s win and is listed as questionable.
“I’m very optimistic I’ll play,” Bailey said. “I always think I can play. I never count myself out.”