The quarterbacks will get a lot of the attention — Peyton Manning for his perfect career mark against Cincinnati, Andy Dalton for his penchant to melt down in big games — when the Broncos play the Bengals on Monday night. But it'll be the running backs who are on the spot in a game between teams trying to set themselves up for deep playoff runs.
If the Broncos (11-3) and Bengals (9-4-1) get their way, it'll be C.J. Anderson and Jeremy Hill getting most of the attention.
Both teams have started putting more emphasis on the run as the playoffs approach. The Broncos have already won the AFC West and would clinch a first-round bye with a victory at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals would earn a fourth straight trip to the playoffs with a win.
"The formula to win a championship this time of the season is teams that can run the ball and play good defense," Broncos nose tackle Terrance Knighton said.
Yeah, they all say that. In this case — for this game in particular — it's pertinent.
Manning is 8-0 against the Bengals, but he's not in the best of health. Manning played with the flu and strained his right thigh during a 22-10 win at San Diego last Sunday. He was limited in practice during the week.