The Denver Broncos have a stiff challenge ahead of them in Nashville as they look to stifle Marcus Mariota and the improved Tennessee Titans.
Gary Kubiak’s Denver Broncos have a chance to inch closer to the co-leader of the AFC West. Kansas City’s 21-13 win over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night means the defending Super Bowl champions can move to within one game of the top spot.
But first they have to get past the improved Tennessee Titans. And that won’t be easy given the way this team’s offense has played this season.
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1. DeMarco Murray
The NFL’s second-leading rusher should be able to exploit a Denver defense that is allowing 122.8 yards per game on the ground. Only four teams in the league have had more problems stopping the run this season than the defending Super Bowl champions. In terms of rushing, Murray has totaled 229 carries for 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season with the Titans.
2. Aqib Talib
Titans’ wide receiver Rishard Matthews has been one of the hotter pass-catchers in the league as of late. In his last eight games, he’s totaled 36 catches – seven for scores – after not reaching the end zone in any of his first four contests this season. But Talib can give any receiver in the league issues. He’s arguably the top member of a secondary that is part of the league’s number-one pass defense.
3. Marcus Mariota
Talk about production and consistency? The second-year quarterback has thrown more than three times as many touchdown passes (25) as interceptions (8). Mariota has connected for two or more scores in eight straight games and 10-of-12 contests this year. But can he avoid Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller all afternoon?
The defending Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos are a one-point underdog to the 6-6 Titans. The OVER/UNDER is a modest 43.5.
It will be a rematch of the 2015 AFC Championship Game as the Broncos host the New England Patriots, who will be coming off a Monday night tilt with the Baltimore Ravens. Meanwhile, Mike Mularkey’s Titans head to take on the very-hot Kansas City Chiefs.