The John Fox Era in Denver didn't start off on the right foot. The Denver Broncos fell to the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football, 23-20. It was not pretty at all, and many of the same issues from 2010 showed up in 2011. The rush defense provided huge holes for Darren McFadden to penetrate (150 yards). The running game didn't have anything going because of Knowshon Moreno's general ineffectiveness (22 yards), but that can be attributed to the offensive line failing to run block and open holes.
More importantly, the battle with attrition started in earnest as Moreno, Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil and Brandon Lloyd all left the game with injuries. Only Lloyd practiced this week, and that was just on Friday. They are all listed as questionable for the game.
And no preview would be complete without mentioning Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow for that matter. Fans started chanting for Tebow during the fourth quarter of the game. John Fox is adamant that Orton is his quarterback. But Orton's play was not great, as he threw an interception that set up Sebastian Janikowski's 63-yard field goal and then inexplicably lost the ball before he attempted a throw. Don't expect Tebow anytime soon.
The Bengals, meanwhile, defeated the Cleveland Browns last week with backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski taking over in the second half. Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton injured his wrist and missed the second half of the game, but he appears ready to go. Expect the Bengals to use running back Cedric Benson heavily to exploit a defensive line that is thin.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Sept. 18; 2:15 p.m. MT
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High -- Denver, CO
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Steve Beuerlein
Bengals: 1530 WCKY, 102.7 FM WEBN
Broncos: AM 850 KOA, KJMN 92.1
Odds: Broncos favored by 3.5