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Titans vs Broncos: Keys to victory

The Titans (6-3) will attempt to recapture their winning ways when they face the Denver Broncos (4-5) under the bright lights of Monday Night Football. After suffering a disappointing loss to Jacksonville, Tennessee will be looking to earn their seventh win of the season as they try to remain in the ultra-competitive AFC playoff race.
This week’s match-up with Denver will be the Titans’ second appearance on the league’s primetime stage this season. In their first Monday night game, the Titans dismantled Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in a convincing 31-14 win. The Titans will be looking to attain similar results in this week’s primetime quarrel with Vanderbilt graduate Jay Cutler and the Denver Broncos.
Titans’ keys to victory
Run the football with authority
LenDale White and the Titans’ offensive linemen are probably salivating as they prepare to face the Broncos’ 31st ranked rush defense. Denver’s putrid run defense has allowed opposing ball carriers to average nearly five yards per carry (4.8). Denver opponents have also accounted for thirteen runs of twenty yards or more.
Despite last week’s abysmal 62 yard rushing performance against the Jaguars, the Titans are still ranked as the league’s 4th best rushing attack, averaging nearly 140 yards per game. A big performance from the backfield against one of the league’s worst run defenses would provide the Titans with an excellent opportunity for victory on Monday night.
Stop Denver’s running game
The Broncos have traditionally been one of the league’s best running teams. Whether it’s Terrell Davis, Clinton Portis, or the slew of other running backs that have had success in Denver’s zone blocking schemes, the Broncos’ rushing attack has been a constant strength over the last several years.
On Monday, the Titans’ task will be to curtail the efforts of ex-Titan Travis Henry and undrafted rookie sensation Selvin Young. Having a healthy Albert Haynesworth in the lineup would increase the Titans’ chances of stopping the powerful Bronco running attack but he is currently listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. Haynesworth’s absence paved the way for Jacksonville’s 166 yard rushing performance last week, so getting the big guy back into the lineup is of extreme importance to the Titans’ defense.
Execute in the red zone
One of the season’s most frustrating themes for the Titans has been their inability to score touchdowns in the red zone. The Titans are currently the league’s 30th ranked team in red zone touchdown efficiency, reaching the end zone on only one-third (11) of their 33 red zone opportunities. Capitalizing on trips to the red zone will be one of the Titans’ major objectives as they attempt to earn a win in the hostile confines of Denver’s Invesco Field.
For perspective through the eyes of Broncos’ followers, check out Denver’s Thin Air on MVN.