SERIES HISTORY: 38th meeting. Broncos lead series, 21-15-1. The Broncos have won four of the last five. The most historic meeting between was on Jan. 4, 1992, when John Elway led "The Drive II," converting two fourth downs to set up David Treadwell's game-winning field goal. The Broncos mashed the Titans in the last meeting, in Denver in 2013. That game is most known for Matt Prater making an NFL-record 64-yard field goal.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
It's another week of wait-and-see at quarterback for the Broncos, with another must-win game looming. Starter Trevor Siemian shed the walking boot early this week, but coach Gary Kubiak said he would work both of his top two quarterbacks, and the possibility of going into Tennessee with rookie Paxton Lynch lingers.
The Jaguars' offense was ineffective enough to allow the Broncos to withstand Lynch's struggles last week. That almost certainly won't be the case with the Titans.
The Broncos are hoping to get a boost for their injury-plagued running game with the signing of Justin Forsett, who enjoyed his best season in 2014 with Baltimore. The Ravens' offensive coordinator that year? None other than current Denver coach Gary Kubiak.
With Murray healthier than he has been in a while after battling turf toe throughout November, he could be primed for a big game. That would allow the Titans to munch on the clock and perhaps diminish Von Miller's opportunities to get after Marcus Mariota.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau vs. Broncos QB Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch. Siemian may not know his status until later in the week after he missed last week with an injured foot. Either way, look for LeBeau to throw exotic looks and blitzes at a young quarterback, whether it be Siemian or first-round pick Lynch.
--Titans LT Taylor Lewan vs. Broncos LB Von Miller. Miller is one of the league's premier pass rushers, and Lewan will have his hands full containing him, despite playing well this season and allowing only one sack. If Lewan can win his share of this battle, it would make things easier for QB Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee offense.
FRIDAY INJURY REPORT:
--Out: LS Casey Kreiter (calf), LB Brandon Marshall (hamstring)
--Questionable: WR Bennie Fowler (knee), QB Trevor Siemian (foot)
--Questionable: DT Jurrell Casey (foot)
Titans RB DeMarco Murray. While Denver has a terrific pass rush and excellent secondary, it is also ranked 28th against the run, allowing 122.8 yards per game. Enter Murray, who has 1,043 yards and is also healthier after battling turf toe in November. If the Titans' O-line can create a new scrimmage line consistently, Murray should have a big day and the impact of the Broncos' pass rush could be reduced.
Broncos QB Trevor Siemian threw for 368 yards and three TDs in his last start. He has 10 TDs and three interceptions in five road starts.
Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas had 88 receiving yards and a TD in the last meeting. Since 2012, he ranks second in the NFL with 468 receptions. He also is one of four players with five TD catches in each of the past five seasons.
Broncos LB Von Miller leads the NFL with 12.5 sacks. He has 17.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and an interception in his past 14 games.
Denver CB Bradley Roby had a 51-yard interception for a TD last week. He and Kansas City's Eric Berry are the only players with two pick-sixes this season.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota has 21 passing TDs and three INTs in his past eight games. He is tied for fourth in the NFL with 25 passing TDs and ranks fifth with a 101.9 rating. He has thrown at least two TD passes in eight straight games.
Titans LB Brian Orakpo ranks fifth in the AFC with nine sacks. In his past two games vs. Denver, he has 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
The Titans' offense is rolling, and the defense should benefit from facing Denver's stumbling offense.
OUR PICK: Titans, 24-20.