Bolt Beat Week 7 staff picks vs. Denver Broncos

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Philip Rivers
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Philip Rivers /

The Los Angeles Chargers would love to get one back against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, a win that would mark their third straight while sending the Broncos careening down the AFC West standings.

Two weeks ago, the Broncos appeared to be an AFC powerhouse while it looked like the Chargers would be in the running for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. But back-to-back wins for the Chargers combined with a Denver loss at home to the 0-5 New York Giants has changed all of that.

It likely changed the minds of some of our pickers, who chimed in this week for another round of predictions. Each writer’s win-loss record for the season is in parenthesis.

Alexander Insdorf (2-4): “The Chargers will get a chance to make up for their Week 1 loss in Denver where they missed a chance for overtime on a Younghoe Koo miss. I see this being a close game in the same vain, and that Chargers have come in winning 2 straight in close games where they struggled the first four games of the season. Denver also struggled quite a bit on offense last week, and now starting QB Trevor Siemian is nursing an injured shoulder. Emmanuel Sanders is out for the game nursing an ankle, and his backup Isaiah McKenzie is out as well. It’s worth noting that the great defense of the Broncos also didn’t play so well against the Giants rushing attack. It’ll be a tight game that comes down to the 4th once again, but I see the Chargers taking the game with everything that has happened to the Broncos in recent weeks. If the Defense is able to force Siemian into turnovers and get pressure on him, and the offense can play well enough like the Giants did last week, I see a close Chargers win. Melvin Gordon as the main weapon will be the key here, as well as the Bolts’ receivers on offense. FINAL SCORE: DEN 17-LAC 24”.

Tyler Schoon (2-4): “The Chargers make it three in a row with a sound win against the Denver Broncos this week. The Bolts seem to have figured out that Hunter Henry is actually a good player (finally) and are targeting him more. Look for that to continue against a defense that just got beat by rookie tight end Evan Engram. And with the Broncos starting right tackle position being filled by a journeyman left guard, look for Bosa or Ingram to have themselves a monster game. Chargers 24, Broncos 20.”

Anthony Totri (3-3): “The Bolts should have won the first meeting against the Broncos. A wild ending didn’t swing in the right direction for the Chargers, but I believe this week they come out faster and stronger than any other game thus far. I’ll take the Chargers 28 – Broncos 17.”

Scott Iger (2-4): “After a huge win against the Oakland Raiders, and their win against the Chiefs, the AFC West is wide open. If the Chargers want a legitimate chance at the playoffs this year, this game is a must-win. I think that the Chargers will play a strong game, with the Bolts’ defensive front devouring an ailing Denver offensive line. Chargers win 24-10.”

Kade Dohmen (0-6): “The first game was the start of heartbreak for the Chargers season. Their game-tying field goal was blocked and that led to four straight losses to start out. The Chargers have won two in a row now and look a lot more confident. Confident enough to get a win Sunday. Chargers win 23-21.”

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Sean Kirk (0-0): “Denver will head out to Los Angeles in an extremely important division game for both teams. Denver plays a very difficult schedule the next 4 weeks (@ LA, @ KC, @PHI, NE) and a loss could be devastating for them. Denver will be missing several key offensive lineman along with versatile wideout Emmanuel Sanders, while Siemian will be playing with a sprained shoulder. Although, the Chargers aren’t too healthy themselves with several players questionable, I don’t see the Chargers losing this game. Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa will be too much for a very bad and banged up Broncos’ O line. Rivers doesn’t turn the ball over and makes wise decisions. Chargers win 27-17.”

Matt Pagels (3-3): “The Chargers are alive! Well, sort of. They are still 2-4, but a win against Denver puts them back into contention. The Broncos are banged up and coming off a bad loss to the Giants. Give me the Chargers and their momentum for L.A.’s third straight win.”

Travis Wakeman (3-3): “In Week 1, I was the only guy here who correctly predicted the Broncos winning the game and I’m tempted to do so again here because of the fact that the Chargers don’t really have a home-field advantage at StubHub Center. However, as many of these guys have pointed out, the loss of Sanders and the questionable O-line make that a little harder to do. I believe the team that runs the ball better wins this game. I also believe in momentum in the NFL, and only one of these teams has it right now. Chargers in a close one. Chargers 21, Denver 20”.