What a difference two weeks makes.
Flashback to the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers first matchup of the season, Oct. 14: The Chargers were 1-4 and losers of three straight. They’d found myriad ways to blow big leads. Things were so bad that Philip Rivers was comparing his team to The Bad News Bears.
Then San Diego found a way to beat Denver in an ugly Thursday Night Football game. The Chargers won again in Week 7 — beating the Falcons 33-30 — and all of a sudden, they’re 3-4 ahead of their game against the 5-2 Broncos.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, despite key weapons going down left and right, continues to put up big numbers. He’s fourth in yards per attempt (8.24), 12th in completion percentage (66.1) and has tossed 13 touchdowns against four picks.
San Diego remains suspect defensively, although defensive end Joey Bosa is having a huge rookie year.
Bosa got a late start this season because his camp and San Diego were haggling over details in his contract, a decision that’s making the Chargers look dumber and dumber by the week.
Denver could be without several key players when the game kicks off. Running back C.J. Anderson is definitely out with a torn meniscus, and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and linebacker Brandon Marshall are questionable.
The Broncos seemed to get back on track with Monday’s win over Houston. Earning a win over the Chargers is crucial to keep pace in what’s probably the best division in football, the AFC West.
Von Miller oversized glasses matchup to keep an eye on
Hunter Henry vs. Denver’s secondary.
Henry, the Chargers rookie tight end, is a dangerous receiving threat, and he proved that against Denver the first go-around. Henry caught six balls for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Watch him burn Broncos safety T.J. Ward for 20 yards on this nifty route.
His blend of size (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) and speed (4.68 40) presents problems.
Henry reported concussion-like symptoms after San Diego’s game against Atlanta, but he practiced Wednesday. So expect to see him out there.
How to watch the game
When: 2:05 p.m. MT
Where: Sports Authority Field
DENVER -4 1/2
Broncos 23, Chargers 17