DENVER, JAN. 18 -- The Denver Broncos have memories of a tough, down-to-the-wire game the last time they played the Washington Redskins. And they see no reason that won't be the case Jan. 31 when they meet in Super Bowl XXII.

As the Broncos ran and lifted on an otherwise off day, most questions they fielded were about last year's Super Bowl and their last meeting with the Redskins, a 31-30 victory in the next-to-last game of the 1986 regular season.

In that game, quarterback John Elway threw for 282 yards and one touchdown and ran 11 yards for a score. Washington quarterback Jay Schroeder threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, including one to Art Monk.

"They're much like Cleveland," wide receiver Mark Jackson said, "in the fact that in the times I've played them, it's always been a shooting match. Last year was like, whoever had the ball last would win. That kind of game. And after watching them play the Vikings, with eight sacks, I'm a little worried, to tell you the truth."

Of course, things have changed since their last meeting. Monk is recovering from an injury and Schroeder has taken a back seat to Doug Williams at quarterback. The Redskins' running game has struggled, and Denver is missing nine starters from the defense that lined up against the Giants in last season's Super Bowl. No matter, say the Broncos.

"They're pretty much the same," Broncos Coach Dan Reeves said. "We haven't changed much since last year, and they haven't changed much. They're different with Doug {Williams} at quarterback, because Doug will stay in the pocket and hold it until the last second, and he's able to scramble around, also."

Specific Redskins left impressions on the Broncos after their last game. Offensive tackle Dave Studdard faced Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley for the first time in that game, and Studdard recalled problems he had with Manley early in the game.

"The first five minutes, I had my hands full," Studdard said. "It was the first time I had ever played him, and I really didn't know what to expect. After about five minutes of the first quarter, I knew what I had to do, and finally got him going, and ended up doing a pretty good job on him. But the first quarter, he was unbelievable."

Studdard compared Manley to Minnesota linebacker Chris Doleman and said Manley is much faster than most ends he has faced this season.

"I think he's probably a little upset because he didn't make the Pro Bowl," Studdard said, "and he's probably going to try and take it out on me."

In Sunday's 38-33 win over Cleveland in the AFC championship game, two of Denver's "Three Amigos" wide receivers had big days. The third, Vance Johnson, missed the game with internal bleeding in his groin.

Going against Pro Bowlers Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon, Ricky Nattiel and Jackson combined for 229 yards receiving and two touchdowns. In Super Bowl XXII in San Diego, they will face Pro Bowler Darrell Green and Barry Wilburn, who led the league in interceptions this season.

"Hopefully, they'll put Green on Vance {Johnson} and I'll have a big day," Jackson said. "Green's a pain. I beat him last year on a deep route, turned him all the way around. And John {Elway} heaved up one of those 60-yarders. I was just struggling, trying to get the ball, and I kind of peeked over my right shoulder. And there goes Green, running right by me. I was like, 'Holy smokes! Is this guy human?' His catch-up speed is just great."

"I love going up against Pro Bowl guys," Jackson said Sunday. "That's why I loved playing the Raiders last year. It's a rivalry, and you have to be at your best. If you're not, you get knocked on your butt."

Although Elway was bottled up for most of the second half, he got the points when the Broncos needed them. Veteran wide receiver Steve Watson compared Elway to the great running back who can still break a long run late in the game after struggling all day.

"That's the kind of threat John poses when he gets out of the pocket," Watson said.

After the game's wild ending -- Cleveland's Earnest Byner fumbling at the Denver 3 with 1:05 to play -- Reeves said he was numb. Not all the feeling was back today.

Reeves said he and Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs have gotten to be good friends since both became head coaches. Gibbs and his system are well known to members of the Denver coaching staff.

The Broncos will have a couple of days off before practicing Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They will leave for San Diego Monday. Reeves was asked if he would place a little side bet with his friend before the game.

"No side bets," he said. "Can't get Joe to make a bet."