NFL Picks Week 3: Denver Broncos Visit the Tennessee Titans

Christopher SmithCorrespondent IIISeptember 22, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 03:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans stretches for extra yards against the Denver Broncos at LP Field on October 3, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. Denver won 26-20.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos are fresh off of a win at home against the Cincinnati Bengals.

They looked better in Week 2 than they did the week before but still failed to impress everyone.

One thing they did great was manage to pull out a win with so many of their stars on the sideline. Injuries can do more than hurt a roster; they can hurt a team's morale and spirit.

The morale was unaffected in Week 2 as Denver found a way to stave off the Bengals and seal the deal for their home crowd.

The Tennessee Titans are glowing this week after toppling one of the NFL's best teams, the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens were certainly the favorites in Week 2 but fell victim to the age-old "trap game."

Tennessee might not be one of the elite teams in 2011, but they certainly feel great after ransacking the Ravens and stealing their first win of the season.

On Sunday the Broncos visit LP Field in Nashville to face the Titans for the second year in a row.

At this point in the season, both of these teams could be NFL bottom-dwellers but could also prove to be closer to the elitists of the NFL than we all may think.

Denver will be returning four stars to the field against Tennessee on Sunday—D.J. Williams, Brandon Lloyd, Elvis Dumervil and Knowshon Moreno.

The only terrifying aspect of this relieving news break is the risk of Tennessee's most hard-nosed and hard-hitting players—Cortland Finnegan—putting one of these players right back on the sideline.

Denver will have its best opportunity to prove to the league what kind of team they are in 2011 this Sunday.

They'll have a higher number of healthy starters on the field than they did last week, one less than Week 1, and hopefully will avoid having to use any emergency players this time around.

If luck allows, they'll also play in better weather than they experienced in Week 1 when Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders tore through their defensive line for 150 rushing yards. 

However good the news and outlook may be for Denver, they still face a team that's rolling after a huge game, and they will be playing on their opponent's home turf.

For a chance to win, the Broncos will have to stop Chris Johnson from completing his first break-out game of the season. CJ2K has yet to do much for his fantasy owners in 2011 but has his best chance to put down some great stats against a hurt and porous Denver defense.

As hard as it is for me, a die-hard Broncos fan, to say it, I see the Titans and Matt Hasselbeck running away with a win against Denver at home: 38-31, an offensive masterpiece for both teams.

Still, don't count the Broncos out completely as this game could go either way.

I'll be cheering for the blue and orange on Sunday regardless of my pick.

What is for sure is that we'll all get a great look at what we should expect from both squads over the course of the following 14 weeks.