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LA Chargers: Game breakdown and prediction for Week 8 at Broncos

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 1: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos passes under pressure by Melvin Ingram III #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter of a game at Empower Field at Mile High on December 1, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 1: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos passes under pressure by Melvin Ingram III #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter of a game at Empower Field at Mile High on December 1, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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13. CBS . Sunday, Nov 1. 2-4. 45. Chargers -3.5. 2-4. 1:05 PM PT

The 2-4 LA Chargers take on the 2-4 Denver Broncos in Week 8.

Keeping with recent tradition, the LA Chargers once again played a bad team close in their gritty win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But for as close as the Jaguars made it in the third quarter, Justin Herbert still showed up in big moments to throw for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns. The young gentleman all the kids refer to as “Herb” is most certainly putting himself into the Rookie of the Year conversations and could very well be the sleeper in the race nobody is really paying attention to.

Overall, I’m happy with the performance out of the Bolts against a bad Jaguars team. The Bolts have already lost to the Panthers and played the Bengals tight in the two games they’ve had this season against rebuilding teams. I’d say “non-playoff teams,” but the Panthers are still at least in the conversation to make the playoffs in a down-ish NFC.

Jacksonville gave me a scare in this one, but Herbert came through and the Chargers won outright and covered 7.5 points as we predicted last week. The under 49 pick still bothers me because I was certain the Bolts could handle the Jags’ offense, but onto Week 8 it is!

This time around, we have yet another rebuilding team in line for the Bolts to face down. Unfortunately, I’m not too optimistic the Chargers will come away with the win in this game since the Broncos have historically been the bane of Charger Nation’s existence.

For years, it’s been Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Wade Phillips, and all of those vaunted Bronco defensive studs rattling Philip Rivers. Now, we have a Broncos pass rush that, even without Von Miller, has tallied 18 sacks on the year which puts them top ten in football.

Good for Bradley Chubb, Malik Reed, and the makeshift Broncos pass rush that’s missing its leader in Miller and Jurell Casey on the interior; former Bronco Derek Wolfe as well.

I sense big problems for a young Chargers quarterback this week. I have this to say, then I’ll throw my numbers at you, then we’ll get out of here.

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Wade Phillips may be gone and the soul of this Broncos defense may not be present anymore, but this is still a defensive unit that’s 8th in YPG allowed as of the end of Week 7, 10th in RYPG allowed, and 13th in PYPG allowed- all without their big boppers manning down the fort for most of the year (Miller, Casey, AJ Bouye etc.).

This group put on a great performance two weeks ago in Foxborough to stun the Patriots allowing only 12 points in their victory. Then they got blasted last week in snowy Denver by a pinned-up Chiefs offense. Now, this is a spot where we could see a serious bounce-back performance out of this unit.

On top of that, we also have Drew Lock being held to 18 points two weeks ago in Foxborough and 16 points last week by KC. He’s got Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, and KJ Hamler all healthy with a Chargers secondary that’s allowing 253.2 yards per game passing to go against. More big trouble.

Now for my numbers.

Denver is all-time 68-52-1 against the Chargers and winners of 5 of 8 and 14 of 18 in the rivalry.

At home against the Bolts, the Broncos are also 6-1 in their last 7 and 18-8 in their last 26 with Drew Lock already owning a victory over the boys in baby blue last season.

Then we have the Chargers as favorites where they are 1-1-1 this year ATS in this position whereas Denver is 4-2 ATS as underdogs (4-1 before last week’s Chiefs debacle).

If the Bolts were going to win this game, I would most definitely say they win and cover since 43 of their 52 wins over Denver in their history have covered 3 points and 16 of 18 wins in Denver have covered that as well.

However, I think Denver ultimately wins this game since they are not a powerhouse team the Bolts usually play up to and they have so much good history against them, especially at home.

I’m also taking the over 44.5 in this game. 54 of 121 games in this long series have gone over 44.5 points, which comes out to about 45%. And then 27 of 61 games in Denver have finished over 44.5 points as well which comes out to around 44%.

Less than half the time games in this series go over 44.5 points, but when you look at the entire league and how these percentages stack up, 45 and 44% are actually pretty high marks compared to most of the other matchups and where they sit.

For example, The Chiefs and Jets have gone over their Week 8 O/U of 49 36% of the time overall and 33% of the time in Kansas City.

The Browns and Raiders have gone over 49.5 points 25% of the time. The Bucs and Giants 22% of the time over 45 points. The Packers and Vikings 28% of the time over 50.5 points. So on and so forth. You get the picture.

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So, I’m going to take the Broncos in this game 28-23 and the over of 44.5.

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