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Preview: Broncos at Falcons


While Peyton Manning showed he still bears mention among the NFL's elite quarterbacks, Matt Ryan performed at quite the high level himself in last week's season opener. Ryan, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in Atlanta's 40-24 triumph over Kansas City, will look to keep the Falcons flying high in Monday's tilt versus Manning and the Denver Broncos. Ryan is blessed with plenty of weapons - including second-year stud wideout Julio Jones, who reeled in six catches for 108 yards and two scores.

Manning didn't look the worse for wear after his 20-month absence, tossing a pair of scores in Denver's 31-19 victory over Pittsburgh last week. The future Hall of Famer took the reins of the no-huddle offense and sliced the Steelers' defense - highlighted by a 71-yard scoring strike to Demaryius Thomas for his 400th career touchdown. Manning will face a Falcons defense that struggled versus Kansas City and lost top cover cornerback Brent Grimes to a season-ending Achilles tendon tear in the process.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Falcons -3, O/U 51

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (1-0): Veteran cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter will be put to the test as they shadow Jones and Roddy White all over the field on Monday. Porter showed he was up to the challenge in the season opener with eight tackles and a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown. Linebacker Von Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in 2011, tied a career high with two sacks as Denver's defense limited Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh to just 284 total yards last week.

ABOUT THE FALCONS (1-0): While Atlanta's high-octane passing game drew headlines, running back Michael Turner had trouble getting untracked in the opener. Turner, who rushed for an NFC-best 1,340 yards last season, mustered just 32 on 11 carries versus the Chiefs. Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez, who found the end zone against his former team, has scored in three straight games versus Denver. Ryan has dominated at home, winning 26 of 30 career regular-season games in the Peach State.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Falcons have fared well at home during Mike Smith's tenure, posting a 26-6 mark since 2008.

2. Denver has won eight of the 12 regular-season meetings - including six of the last seven contests. The Broncos also defeated the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, marking Hall of Famer John Elway's final game.

3. Atlanta will shuffle Dunta Robinson back to right cornerback in place of Grimes. Reserve Christopher Owens, who returned from a hamstring injury, will see additional time at nickel back.

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Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Capacity: 71,000

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Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons

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Last Injuries

Atlanta Falcons

  • Kendall Sheffield

    Foot
    Doub Sun | doubtful

    Sheffield has sat out the previous two games due to a foot injury, and it is unlikely that he will suit up Sunday versus the Bears.

  • Luke Stocker

    Hip
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Stocker has a hip injury, and it is unclear if he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Bears.

  • Takkarist McKinley

    Groin
    Ques Sun | questionable

    McKinley exited the last game due to a groin injury, and it is unknown if he will participate in Sunday's contest with the Bears.

  • Kaleb McGary

    Knee
    Doub Sun | doubtful

    McGary left the previous game due to an MCL sprain and did not return. His status for Sunday's battle against the Bears is in doubt.

  • Foyesade Oluokun

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Oluokun was removed from the last game with cramping in his hamstring, and it is undetermined if he will be ready for Sunday's clash versus the Bears.

  • Charles Harris

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Harris has been held out of the last two games with an ankle injury, and it is uncertain if he will play Sunday against the Bears.

  • Julio Jones

    Hamstring
    Prob Sun | probable

    Jones is managing a left hamstring strain but is projected to take the field against the Bears on Sunday.

  • Dante Fowler Jr.

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Fowler Jr. is battling an ankle injury, and it is undetermined if he will take part in Sunday's tilt against the Bears.

Denver Broncos

  • Joe Flacco

    Neck
    Prob Sun | probable

    Flacco has been activated from the PUP list while recuperating from a disc repair surgery in his neck. He is likely to return Sunday against the Colts.

  • Albert Okwuegbunam

    Ankle
    Prob Sun | probable

    Okwuegbunam missed the previous two games due to an ankle injury, but he is expected to be ready for Sunday's battle against the Buccaneers.

  • Trey Marshall

    Hip
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Marshall is nursing hip and wrist injuries. It is up in the air if he will face the Buccaneers on Sunday.

  • Courtland Sutton

    Knee
    I-R | I-R

    Sutton has been shifted to the injured reserve list due to a torn ACL and MCL in his knee.

  • DeMarcus Walker

    Calf
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Walker will miss an undetermined length of time due to a calf injury. The team has put him on the injured reserve list as a result.

  • Jerry Jeudy

    Ribs
    Prob Sun | probable

    Jeudy is expected to be in Sunday's lineup versus the Buccaneers despite injured ribs.

  • Phillip Lindsay

    Toe
    Mid Oct | out

    Lindsay is sidelined due to turf toe, and team officials expect him to remain out of the lineup for at least two to four weeks.

  • Shelby Harris

    Neck
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Harris is dealing with a neck injury, and it is unknown if he will take part in Sunday's showdown with the Buccaneers.