Salisbury: Battle of the sophomore quarterbacks


Every Monday, ESPN football analyst Sean Salisbury provides his picks and keys to the game for ESPN PlayCaller. Want to put Sean's advice to work? Think you know better? Join now and let's see what you've got.


Quarterback with most passing yards: Jay Cutler
The Broncos are more efficient at throwing the ball and they have the big-play ability to get the ball downfield, plus they will have more attempts.

Quarterback with most touchdown passes: Jay Cutler
The Broncos will have a difficult time running the ball if they get down in the red zone, so they will end up passing for the touchdown, if there is going to be a touchdown.

Running back with most yards:LenDale White
White and Chris Brown will be the two-headed monster for the Titans. White will end up with the most yards, but don't be surprised by mixed duties. The Titans like to run the ball and play old-style smashmouth football.

Running back with most touchdowns: LenDale White
When the Titans get to the red zone they have no problem handing the football off and pounding it in. Look for White to have the first touchdown tonight. Then again it could be Vince Young.

Wide receiver with the most receiving yards? Brandon Stokley
He's second on the team in receiving yards and he has three touchdown catches. The Broncos are better at the pass right now, with the questions at running back, and Stokley will be the guy tonight. If you still have the option for your fantasy team, see if you can get him into your lineup.

Most field goals: Rob Bironas

This choice gets down to most attempts. The Titans will stall in the red zone and Bironas will end up with more attempts and more field goals.

Which player will score the first touchdown? Bo Scaife
Let's go off the beaten path with this one. Scaife is a big target and will be Vince Young's first choice for a short red zone touchdown toss.

Which team will score the first touchdown: Tennessee Titans
Scaife on a short pass from Vince Young, touchdown Titans. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. The Titans will go on to win.

Keys to the game for the Broncos

  1. Cutler must cut down on turnovers
    He has big-play ability but he eventually will make a bad decision and throw into coverage. He has got to prevent that tonight.

  2. Play Denver-style football
    The Broncos must return to the old-style Denver defense and stop the run. They haven't been able to do that this year and in fact have been dominated at the line.

  3. Protect the quarterback
    If Cutler can cut down on the bad decisions and the line can give him the time, he does have big-play capabilities. But when pressured and hurried he will make mistakes. Protect your house and you could win.

Keys to the game for the Titans

  1. Vince Young must find his passing game.
    He's a big-play guy who has the it factor for winning games, but to take it to the next level he must improve in the pass game and become more proficient.

  2. Make the Broncos one-dimensional
    Stop the run game and force the pass and success will be yours. If it becomes a throw, throw, throw-style game for the Broncos that's when Cutler will make the bad choice and the turnovers will come.

  3. Win the field goal war
    Yeah I said it, the field goal war. The Titans don't score a lot of touchdowns and so they will have to make good on the chances they get at field goals. This whole game may come down to converting a red zone field goal in the final minutes.

Sean Salisbury is an NFL analyst for ESPN