Throughout the season, the staff here at Bolt Beat will make picks on each of the Los Angeles Chargers’ games.
The Chargers open the season Monday night against the division rival Denver Broncos on the road at Sports Authority Field. Both teams bring in revamped offensive lines but the Bolts also bring in as close to a clean bill of health as they probably ever will.
Neither team wants to lose this game and be the only team in the AFC West at 0-1 after Week 1 so expect a competitive, spirited effort from both sides for a full 60 minutes.
With all of that in mind, here is what our writers had to say in making their first picks of the year.
Tyler Schoon: “Football season is back, but many Broncos defenders aren’t. The losses of T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware and Shane Ray (at least for this game) make it much easier for the Chargers to score. We’ve had recent success against this team with less on offense and more on their defense. Barring a late collapse, the Bolts take this one easier than most think.
Final: Chargers 28, Broncos 17″
Alexander Insdorf:“Final Score: Chargers 24 Broncos 16
I see this going down in a very similar fashion to last year’s Thursday night game, which was a defensive grind out. While the Broncos defense is better than the Chargers offense, I believe their offense pales in comparison to the Chargers offense because of their questions on the offensive line and at QB. It’s always tough to play in Mile High, but I see the Chargers getting big performances from the defensive line and running game. The Chargers having no major injuries (yet) and a significantly better quarterback are the differences in this game.”
Mike Murray: “For me this all hinges on the play of the Chargers offensive line. I would feel better if Lamp was playing or if Tuerk and Feeney had played out of their minds in camp to get starting jobs. As it is I am not sure the Charger offensive line has improved a great deal. If the Chargers offensive line is mediocre on Monday night ,the Chargers cruise and put up lots of points. The Broncos offense will struggle but look for their defense and special teams to score to make it close. Chargers 35 – Broncos 33.”
Anthony Totri: “I’ll take the Chargers in this one. Being that it’s week one and the majority of both teams are still intact I’ll say the Bolts win 31-24. Philip Rivers and company will lead for most of the game, and to make their fans feel all nice and warm inside the Broncos find a way to punch in a final stat-padding touchdown before the closing seconds. However, it won’t be enough to make the loss any less embarrassing.”
Kade Dohmen: “I think the Chargers defense makes its name known because of this game. I think they’ll keep the Denver offense under control. On the other side, I think the Chargers will be pretty balanced and will chew clock against a tough Broncos D. Bolts take the opener 24-10.”
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Scott Iger: “The Chargers only division win last season came by way of the Denver Broncos, and it was mostly due to a strong offensive outing by Rivers and the crew. While the Chargers offense is primed to shine yet again in their Monday night opener, I believe that the Bolts’ defense will prove to be the most important part of the game. With a decimated offensive line and a suboptimal quarterback situation, players such as Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram should be able to wreak havoc in the Denver backfield. I predict that the Chargers will win the game 21- 10.”
Matt Pagels: “I’m going to make this quick. The Chargers are healthy. The Broncos’ defense is tough, but they are missing a few key players like Shane Ray and possibly Derek Wolfe. Meanwhile, the Bolts’ defense is sneakily good and are going against a not-so-good offense. Chargers come away with a win in Denver for the first time since December 2013.”
Travis Wakeman: “So I’ve gotta be the one? We can’t all be on the Bolts, can we? If this game were being played in Los Angeles, I’d take the Chargers, but I think home field makes the difference here. I see the game coming down to a late field goal but Denver, a team that has won 16 of its last 17 home openers, is not going to roll over. I will not be surprised to see the Chargers win this game, but I’m taking Denver this time.
Broncos 24, Chargers 21″
What do you guys think? Let us know in the comment section below.