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When the Broncos Have the Ball


The Broncos scored 501 points (31.3 that's points per game) this season, tops in the AFC and second to only Minnesota, who set the all-time league mark with 556. Though quarterback John Elway remains the heart and soul of the team, the main cog in their offense is running back Terrell Davis. Davis was the NFL's best player in 1998, becoming just the fourth running back to surpass 2,000 yards rushing in one season. His three touchdowns in last year's Super Bowl earned him the game's MVP award and the Broncos continue to rely heavily on his powerful legs.

Though they lost perennial pro-bowler Gary Zimmerman to retirement after last year's Super Bowl win, the Broncos' offensive line remains the best in the NFL. If the defense lays a hand on their deified quarterback or stops Davis behind the line of scrimmage, each member of the line takes it as a personal affront. Atlanta counters with a vastly underrated defensive unit, led by defensive end Chuck Smith and outside linebacker Cornelius Bennett, a four time Super Bowl loser with Buffalo. They must not allow Davis to get to the outside and turn it upfield. Their ability to prevent this will be the biggest key to the game

When Davis isn't running the ball, Elway will look to his returning triumvirate of receivers. They have the NFL's most prolific (and loudest) tight end in Shannon Sharpe, a legitimate deep threat in Rod Smith and the solid, sure-handed and deceptively quick Ed McCaffrey.




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