Game Scout: Titans at Broncos

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Tennessee Titans (5-7) at Denver Broncos (10-2)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, at Sports Authority Field, Denver - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
*Keys to the game: Hand-wringing over Peyton Manning's grip and arm strength in sub-30-degree temperatures will return if the Broncos can't attack downfield in frigid weather Sunday. The Broncos continued rolling out their winterized offense, averaging 5.2 yards per carry the past two games with rookie Montee Ball (117 rushing yards) and Knowshon Moreno totaling 28 carries for 135 yards at Kansas City and 44-264 yards Nov. 24 at New England. The aggressive history of Gregg Williams' defenses in his years as a coordinator makes protecting Manning the highest priority. The Titans want to grind out long drives and backpedal as far away from a shootout-type tempo as possible. They are familiar with Manning from his days in Indianapolis. Expect the Titans to force Manning to take check downs and hope for a mistake on a long drive.
*Matchup to watch - Broncos LBs Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard vs. Titans RB Chris Johnson -- Johnson has not had the kind of spectacular runs for which he is renowned, and he has just three runs of longer than 10 yards in the past nine games. He's still the biggest threat the Titans offer given the Broncos' recent weakness against the run; Denver has allowed 4.7 yards per carry the last four games after permitting just 3.4 yards per carry through the first eight.
*Player spotlight - Titans WR Kendall Wright: Tennessee's go-to player in the passing game, Wright has 71 catches for 845 yards and needs to average just over 39 yards a game receiving the final four games to reach 1,000 yards for the season.
*Fast facts - The Broncos are 13-1 at home the past two seasons. ... Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has a 100-plus passer rating in three of the past four games.
Denver can let it fly or pound the ball with its talented running back tandem. The ability of Peyton Manning to stay a step ahead of old nemesis Gregg Williams puts the Broncos in line for win No. 11.
*Our pick: Broncos 38-19

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