San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos, Sunday 4:15 pm.
This week’s GOTW matchup between the Broncos and Chargers should remind all of us of the Week 17 matchup these two teams had last year when basically the same prize was at stake. The winner of last year’s game would go on to become the AFC West champion, while the loser packed it in and got ready for vacation. We all know what happened in that game as the Chargers crushed the Broncos and went on to face the Steelers in the AFC divisional round. And the Broncos went on to have one of the looniest offseasons in their history. While the loser of this game won’t be completely out of the playoff race, it will make it very hard for them to get in.
Chargers’ receivers vs. Broncos’ defensive backs: The first time these two teams met up, Philip Rivers had no time to find his wide outs for the big plays down field. If they’re able to have the same success they had from the first game, it will mean more sacks for the Broncos’ front seven.
Denver’s offensive line vs. San Diego’s blitz: The Charges have gone back to sending those outside linebackers hard off the edge in their 3-4 defenses. The Broncos face their own 3-4 defensive schemes every day in practice which is a big reason I think they have success against so many teams using the 3-4. Tackle Ryan Clady will have to protect whichever Denver quarterback is playing for Denver to have a chance.
X – Factor:
Denver on 3rd down: In this three game losing streak, the Broncos’ inability to convert on 3rd down and keep the chains moving has been a big reason for their defense breaking down so much in the 4th quarter. All of Denver’s three losses have been close heading into the 3rd or 4th quarter, but the offense’s lack of big plays and being able to produce yardage when it counts has put the defense in bad spots. Anytime your offense can’t move the chains in the 2nd half, it usually means that your D will become tired during crunch time. Denver will have to convert on their 3rd down attempts for them to have a chance at winning.
Denver 24, San Diego 16: Many people think that because of the Broncos’ three game lapse that they are finally playing like the team that everyone thought they would see before the season began. But hey, this is the NFL and every team will have its down periods during a season. I feel that the Broncos will return to dominating the AFC West for years to come and it starts this season with a close victory over the long time kings if the West.
GOTW: Steelers vs Titans | GOTW: Patriots vs Jets | GOTW: 49ers vs Vikings | GOTW: Chargers vs Steelers | GOTW: Patriots vs Broncos | GOTW: Giants vs Saints | GOTW: Vikings vs Steelers | GOTW: Vikings vs Packers | GOTW: Cowboys vs Eagles | GOTW: Patriots vs Colts