Los Angeles Chargers: Behind Enemy Lines with Predominantly Orange
By Travis Wakeman
The Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos opened the 2017 season against one another. The rematch is set to take place this Sunday in Week 7.
The Chargers will hope many things will be different this time around. They’ll hope to get out to a better start. They’ll hope that Melvin Gordon is as effective as he has been in the last two weeks. And they’ll hope that if the game comes down to a field goal, that their kicker can put it through the uprights.
The Broncos won that game in Week 1, jumping out to a 24-7 lead before holding on for a 24-21 victory when Shelby Harris blocked a last-second field goal attempt by Chargers kicker Younghoe Koo.
The Broncos are coming off a tough loss at home last Sunday night against the previously winless New York Giants. Meanwhile, the Chargers have won two games in a row. A win over the Broncos on Sunday could change the direction of both of these teams’ seasons, so for more insight on this matchup, I talked to Ty Walden of Predominantly Orange.
Bolt Beat: “After losing to the winless New York Giants, what kinds of reservations do you have about this team? Are they just not as good as we may have thought or was Week 6 an aberration?”
Predominantly Orange: “In all honesty, I think it was just aberration. But that goes without saying that there was no reason Denver should have lost that game. But I will give props that the Giants played like a team trying to salvage whatever they had of their season and they did it by beating a really solid Broncos team by getting Denver off theirs. My biggest thing is how the Broncos respond. They begin a three game road trip and it will be important to get it off on the right foot.”
Bolt Beat: “How concerned are you about the Broncos’ wide receiver corps with Emmanuel Sanders, Cody Latimer and Isaiah Mckenzie all hobbled?”
Predominantly Orange: “I am hoping it is not too long Denver is without them. I have read that Latimer could be out for just one more game. Isaiah McKenzie’s does not seem to be bad. It will really depend on their status after the Chargers game. If Latimer can return, I’ll feel a bit more at ease, but not by much. Hopefully Demaryius Thomas and the rest of the wide out corps can step up. Hopefully the same can be said about the tight ends.”
Bolt Beat: “How soon until the Broncos get rookie tight end Jake Butt out on the field?”
Predominantly Orange: “Unfortunately, it is likely the Chargers will not get to see him this season. But he is expected to return to practice this week. He started on Wednesday. The Broncos will have three weeks to decide if they want to place him on the active roster or IR him for the year. With the lack of production from the tight end position, I would not be surprised if he was activated at some point. It just remains to be seen when that will be. If I had to look at my crystal ball and predict, I would say he will be on the field for either the last road game against the Eagles or when the team returns home to face the Patriots.”
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Bolt Beat: “The Broncos jumped out to a 24-7 lead over the Chargers in the season opener and then held on for the win by blocking a last-second field goal attempt. How do the Broncos win this time?”
Predominantly Orange: “By running the ball! The Chargers are at the bottom in run defense. It will be key for the Broncos to have success running the ball early if they are going to have any chance at winning this game. A road divisional game is not easy. However, Denver had success on the road against the Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders for a while until last year. These road divisional games are big. And it is the first one for the Broncos this season.” (They see the Chiefs at Arrowhead the following week)
Bolt Beat: “Which player do you feel makes the biggest difference for the Broncos in this game against the Chargers?
Predominantly Orange: “Domata Peko Sr. has been on a roll lately. I have been really impressed with his performance. He has been a solid contributor to stopping the run when he is on the field. If he can get rolling early, the Broncos run defense will be solid. They will need a bounce back game after allowing the worst rushing offense at the time run all over them. If I could pick another player, I would go with Garett Bolles. He’s been a beast at left tackle and I hope his success continues.
That’s it for this edition of Behind Enemy Lines. To see what Ty and the rest of the writing staff over at Predominantly Orange have been talking about in the week leading up to this game, be sure to click here.