The Chargers travel to Denver to take on the Broncos for the second time this season. Here’s three reasons they get a win fresh off the bye week.
The Chargers may not win all of their next five games, but they do have a good shot to beat their AFC West division rivals on the road. Here’s how they get it done:
Chargers have figured out their running back rotation
Last time the two teams played, the Chargers were just getting Melvin Gordon back into their starting lineup. Although it did not prevent Austin Ekeler from getting his usual touches, it did cause an issue in the running game. Surprisingly, Gordon’s awful 12 carries for 31 yards was still a better per-carry average than in the following weeks against the Steelers and Titans.
Now, things are better. Much better, in fact.
Gordon is back to his usual self, averaging over four yards a carry (4.0, 4.9, 4.9) over his last three games. Ekeler is still very much involved, and had eight catches for 108 yards against the Chiefs before the bye week.
Look for this duo to continue their success, particularly as they look to give their struggling quarterback some help.
Chargers are much healthier this time around
The official word on each player isn’t out yet, but it looks like the Chargers could get three Pro-Bowl players back, where each earned the designation different phases of the game. Philip Rivers could potentially get his left tackle back, Gus Bradley gets his phenomenal strong safety back, and the special teams unit gets back their All-Pro, though Derek Watt and Drue Tranquill have excelled on their own.
There’s no doubt all three returning players will contribute immediately. Would any Chargers fan be surprised to see Derwin James lead the team in tackles on limited snaps?
Chargers have Philcember
“Philcember” is a thing, and the Chargers’ game against the Broncos kicks it off on December 1st.
In fact, under Anthony Lynn, the Chargers are 8-2 in the month of December. Rivers, though not perfect in all 10 contests, has led his team to huge wins, none of which was bigger for the franchise than the comeback victory in Arrowhead last year.
The Chargers are more stable at running back, are much healthier than before, and are about to enter the month their franchise quarterback just can’t seem to lose (often) in. Will the team rip off five wins to finish the season? Possibly. But, for right now, all they can do is take it one game at a time.