LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Five keys to beating the Broncos

DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass against Shelby Harris #96 (not pictured) of the Denver Broncos in the second quarter of the game at Empower Field At Mile High on November 01, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass against Shelby Harris #96 (not pictured) of the Denver Broncos in the second quarter of the game at Empower Field At Mile High on November 01, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

After their first divisional win in two years against the Raiders, the LA Chargers look to make it two in a row vs. Denver.

The LA Chargers will not finish winless in the AFC West this year. The team is now looking to string together consecutive divisional wins as they play Denver at home.

While both teams have different needs and issues, they both sit at 5-9. Neither team is playing for the playoffs at this point. Pride is an important divisional factor when you’re playing a rival though. The Broncos might be the Chargers’ most hated divisional rival over the past 15 years.

Other than pride, players and coaches are still fighting for jobs next year. A 4-0 finish would look a lot stronger for Anthony Lynn than a 2-2 finish. It’s not just Lynn fighting for his job either. Trai Turner, Casey Hayward, Chris Harris and a few other players will be looking to secure roster spots next season.

1. Stop Melvin Gordon in the absence of Philip Lindsay

Phillip Lindsay being ruled out is a huge break for the Chargers. Over the last two seasons, Lindsay has averaged 85 yards in three games vs. Los Angeles. In two of those three games, he rushed for a touchdown as well.

Lindsay’s speed really hurt the Chargers in certain spots. The 55 yard touchdown run he had in the first matchup this season got the Broncos back into that game after being down for so long. Opposing running backs with speed attacking the edge just hasn’t gone well for the Chargers at any point this year.

Melvin Gordon is easier to stop, relatively speaking. It doesn’t help that Royce Freeman is also a question mark for the Broncos in terms of availability. The challenge for the Chargers will be setting the edge without Joey Bosa in the running game, but Gordon tends to take a straight up the gut approach. Linval Joseph and Justin Jones can’t allow yards after contact here.

The Chargers will be getting a heavy dosage of their former running back against them for the first time this season.

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