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Broncos-Titans: What to watch for in Denver's season opener Monday night

Broncos Camp Aug. 23
Posted at 10:04 AM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 12:14:35-04

DENVER — The Broncos' season opener is here.

Denver hosts the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High on Monday at 8 p.m. on ESPN. It'll be a rematch of the Broncos' 16-0 win over the Titans at home last season.

We'll have Troy Renck's 7 keys to victory later this morning.

In the meantime, here are some of the bigger storylines to watch for heading into Monday night, with links to Troy's coverage through training camp:

Will Courtland Sutton play? The Broncos top receiver sprained his AC joint in his right shoulder during practice last week. He watched practice over the weekend, and coach Vic Fangio described Sutton as "50-50" to play Monday night, indicating Sutton will likely be a gametime decision.

• New weapons on offense. Whether Sutton plays or not, plenty of attention will be paid to rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy, the Broncos' top draft pick out of Alabama. Jeudy was a star for the Crimson Tide and is expected to provide Drew Lock with another weapon. Fellow rookie receiver KJ Hamler is also a speedster but not expected to play Monday night as he deals with a hamstring injury.

• No fans — for now. There won't be fans in the stands on Monday night, but the team announced last week that 5,700 fans will be allowed for the Broncos' Sept. 27 game, when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

• Drew Lock at the helm. Second-year quarterback Drew Lock is the unquestioned leader of the Broncos' offense. But he's still looking to improve in his first full year as a starter and under a new offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur.

• No Von, but Chubb looks good. The Broncos' suffered a crushing blow when star linebacker Von Miller dislocated a tendon in his ankle during practice last week. His return for the season is uncertain. But in good news for Denver, pass rusher Bradley Chubb has looked strong in practice following his season-ending injury from last year. Chubb appeared to be on track to play Monday night, if only on a snap count.

• Can Derrick Henry be stopped? Quarterback Ryan Tannehill came on strong in place of Marcus Mariota last season, but it's no secret: This Titans offense runs through Derrick Henry, who runs through opponents at will. In his last nine games of 2019, including the playoffs, Henry averaged just under 150 yards per game and scored 12 touchdowns. A bright spot for Denver is the Broncos might have an answer — they held Henry to just 28 yards on 15 carries in last year's 16-0 win.

• A perfect night for football. Denver's summer-like weather returned Monday, with highs expected to reach 88. But thanks to the late kickoff, conditions should be nice for football, with temperatures in the 70s through the game.

It’s a season of big sports events airing this fall on Denver7. Check out our upcoming schedule:

  • Sept. 21: NFL Monday Night Football: Saints vs Raiders
  • Sept. 29: MLB Wild Card Series
  • Sept. 30: MLB Wild Card Series
  • Sept. 30: NBA Finals Game 1 on Denver7
  • Oct. 1: Broncos vs Jets on Denver7
  • Oct. 1: MLB Wild Card Series (If needed)
  • Oct. 2: NBA Finals Game 2 on Denver7
  • Oct. 4: NBA Finals Game 3 on Denver7
  • Oct. 6: NBA Finals Game 4 on Denver7
  • Oct. 9: NBA Finals Game 5 on Denver7
  • Oct. 11: NBA Finals Game 6 on Denver7
  • Oct. 13: NBA Finals Game 7 on Denver7