1:00 PM ET, October 3, 2010
LP Field, Nashville, TN
The Tennessee Titans cruised to victory in their last game despite allowing nearly 500 yards, one week after losing despite holding their opponent to 127.
The Broncos bring the NFL's top-ranked pass offense to Nashville on Sunday, but they'll be trying to avoid their worst four-game start in 11 years as they try to slow down Chris Johnson and the Titans.
Tennessee (2-1) limited Pittsburgh to its lowest yardage output since 1994 in Week 2, but seven Titans turnovers created huge problems in a 19-11 defeat.
Although coach Jeff Fisher wasn't pleased to see his team outgained 471-271 by the New York Giants last Sunday, he was certainly happier with the result, a 29-10 road victory.
"Clearly, we have to play better," Fisher said. "But we made plays when we needed to make plays and made different types of plays."
The Titans forced three turnovers at New Meadowlands Stadium in addition to stopping the Giants' two fourth-down attempts. New York also had two drives end in missed field goals and another squelched with a safety.
Tennessee has allowed two offensive touchdowns in three games.
"This Tennessee defense, we play hard. We play physical," safety Michael Griffin said. "Look at the stats, they don't look pretty. Look at that score, it looks very nice."
Johnson certainly helped, carrying 32 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns. The 2009 NFL rushing leader reached triple-digit yards again after his streak of 12 consecutive 100-yard games was snapped against the Steelers.
Vince Young was also sharp for Tennessee, going 10 of 16 for 118 yards and a touchdown while helping the Titans avoid a turnover. Young was replaced by Kerry Collins after throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble in Week 2.
"I like the way Vince rebounded," Johnson said. "He didn't come in with his head down, mad at the coaches. ... He just came in with a business face, working on his game."
There has been no quarterback controversy in Denver even though the Broncos (1-2) drafted Florida star Tim Tebow in the first round last spring.
Orton has led the NFL's most prolific passing attack, which is averaging 350.0 yards, and veteran Brandon Lloyd ranks second in the league with 339 receiving yards. Orton's career-high 476 passing yards, though, weren't enough to help Denver avoid a 27-13 home loss to Indianapolis last Sunday.
Denver, loser of three in a row and five of six on the road, is looking to avert its worst start since 1999, when it began the post-John Elway era 0-4.
"He's been productive, certainly," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said of Orton. "But I tend to think about the quarterback relative to wins and losses, third down and red zone. (Sunday), we weren't very good on third down or in the red zone and we lost the game.
"That's not a reflection solely on Kyle Orton. ... I think he's playing well, but we have to play better in those situations that are really going to determine the outcome of drives and ultimately the outcome of games."
The Broncos went 5 of 15 on third down and 1 of 4 on fourth down against the Colts, but a dismal running game may be the bigger problem. Denver ranks 30th in the league with 67.0 rushing yards a contest and last with 2.5 yards per carry.
Starting running back Knowshon Moreno missed last weekend's game with a hamstring injury, but he wasn't doing much better, averaging 2.8 yards on 39 carries in the first two games.
"The good thing is we're not going backward. We had one minus-(yardage) carry (last Sunday)," McDaniels said. "Once we start finishing runs as well as we start them, our running game will be much improved."
One positive for the Broncos last week was their run defense, as they held the Colts to 40 yards on 22 carries. They'll need to be sharp again against the rush if they hope to contain Johnson.
The Broncos have only opposed Tennessee twice since the franchise's move from Houston in 1997, winning both meetings, the most recent in 2007.
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|Avg Points Allowed||21.3||17.0|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||DEN|
|Rush Yds Allowed||DEN|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Denver leads 3-0|
|Nov 19, 2007||DEN 34, TEN 20|
|Dec 25, 2004||DEN 37, @TEN 16|