The San Diego Chargers host the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. Here is my preview and predictions.
Recap: Wow. That’s about the best I can do right now. Not much to say about last week, more of the same. The botched FG hold by Drew Kaser was just the icing on the cake of why we left Oakland with a loss. Rivers two interceptions, Gordon’s fumble (at another crucial time), Kaser’s 17-yard punt: All reasons why we lost last Sunday. Again, this team just didn’t have what it took to finish a game in the second half. Even though Rivers threw two INT’s, he had an amazing game and seemed to realize he would need to air it out to stand a chance.
The Chargers would fall to Oakland 34-31. The Broncos come to town this Thursday for a primetime divisional game. It takes one win to get on a roll, so let’s talk about a few factors that could get us an upset win.
The matchup: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers; Qualcomm Stadium; 5:25 p.m. (PST)
First major factor: Stop the run game. The Broncos have two rookie QB’s that could possible start on Thursday. The success of the Broncos’ offense will be driven by how effectively they can run the ball. Without the run game, the Broncos will have to count on the arm of a rookie QB. The Chargers need to take advantage of that. Let the rookie make rookie mistakes and capitalize on them.
Jan 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) and running back Danny Woodhead (39) attempt to recover a bad snap of the football in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Second major factor: Protect Philip Rivers. This is HUGE this week. We all know about the defense of the Broncos, from the front seven to the star-studded secondary. Neutralize Von Miller. Hit him with tight ends off the line and double him when you can. The offensive line can put the Chargers in the best opportunity this week by giving Rivers the time to throw and make the right reads.
Third major factor: Dexter McCluster and Melvin Gordon catching out of the back field. I think the Falcons may have exposed a weakness in the Broncos’ defense by attacking linebackers. The Broncos have an amazing secondary, but they didn’t have an answer for Atlanta’s pass-catching RB duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Put our RB’s on passing routes and take advantage of them (insert how much we will miss Danny Woodhead in this game). Melvin Gordon has improved his catching out of the backfield this year, but McCluster is a natural at lining up as a WR. I expect McCluster to have a bigger role this week in order to try to expose the Broncos’ linebackers in coverage.
My prediction: WARNING: UPSET SPECIAL. I have no reason for picking the Chargers here at all, but I am doing it. I can’t explain it. Something’s in the air this week, I feel the Chargers pull
Jan 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) celebrates with San Diego Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman (15) after scoring a touchdown during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
this upset on primetime TV. The Chargers are not a terrible team; they are a team that is poorly coached. Don’t get me wrong, the Chargers aren’t a good team, but I think they can compete with anyone. The Chargers finally finish a game versus a team no one suspects we do it against. I am picking the Chargers because I think they will be able to score against the Broncos. Not many points, but just enough to get a win this week. I feel Joey Bosa, who finished with two sacks in his NFL debut, could be the X-factor we need on our defensive line to open everyone else up. We get to the QB five times this game, and the defense finally makes a stand to finish a game.
FINAL SCORE: CHARGERS – 20, BRONCOS -17