Denver Broncos (-3) @ San Diego Chargers (44)
Friday October 14, 11:25am AEDT
Denver looked vulnerable last week in their 23-16 loss to Atlanta in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score may indicate. Paxton Lynch filled in at quarterback and the rookie was not ready for prime time action. The Broncos were out gained 372 yards to 267 yards and 6.0yppl to 4.1yppl. While Atlanta only rushed for 3.8ypr to Denver’s 3.6ypr, it seemed like the rushing game and passes to the running backs against Denver’s linebackers was enough to keep Atlanta balanced on offense and make it tougher for Denver to get consistent stops.
Atlanta rushed for 122 yards. Atlanta also threw for 8.9yps to just 5.2yps for Denver. Denver struggled in field position as they were consistently out punted in the game, forcing an offence that was going to struggle all day to consistently drive a longer field on each drive. The balanced Atlanta offence kept the Denver pass rush at bay, while Denver was sacked six times.
What can San Diego say? Once again a potential victory was snatched away from them late in the fourth quarter. This time a botched field goal snap and hold to tie the game as time ran out was the culprit. Oakland held the ball for nearly 13 more minutes in the game. The Chargers out gained Oakland 8.3yppl to 5.7yppl.
There wasn’t a lot of rushing yards as neither team topped 90 yards rushing or more than 3.8ypr. But, SD hit the bigger plays in the passing game, throwing for 11.7yps and Oakland 7.5yps. The biggest issue for SD other than the field goal at the end of the game was four costly turnovers once again. SD punted just once in the game and it too was poorly executed as it traveled only 16 yards.
Denver will be without head coach Gary Kubiak for this game as Joe DeCamillis will coach the Broncos. What impact that has nobody knows but if there are key decisions to be made in the game they will come from someone other than Kubiak.
Kubiak also calls the plays so after the first 15 scripted plays or so, it’s also hard to know what impact his loss will be on the play calling. Denver looks like they will get RT Donald Stephenson back for this game and TE Virgil Green.
Those two should help a running game that has suffered while they have been missing in action. LB DeMarcus Ware remains out for Denver. Trevor Siemian should return at quarterback for Denver as well.
For SD they are depleted again in their secondary. CB Jason Verrett was lost for the season before last week’s game. They will also be without CB Brandon Flowers and S Jahleel Addae. DE Joey Bosa made his first appearance last week and was sensational. He’ll help a front seven that is getting better and better each week and the Chargers are hoping they will also get LB Denzel Perryman back as well.
The Chargers offensive line has been a mess again this year as of late but they make get RT Joe Barksdale, LG Orlando Franklin and T Chris Hairston back this week.
SD barely qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 137-70-5 and this game also would qualify in a pretty good under situation if the total goes back up to 45.5 or higher. That situation is 287-199-2. I make the number Denver by four and a total of 43.
SD has lost five straight games in SD to Denver with the last two games being very low scoring games (3-17 2015, 10-22 2014). The Broncos should be focused off their home loss and SD may not have the same players running out of the backfield to take advantage of Denver like Atlanta did. While the numbers don’t show it the SD defence is getting better and has been pretty good in the front seven this year.
In addition, SD has played only two home games so far this year and beat Jacksonville badly and gave up a 13 point lead late in the fourth quarter to NO because of back to back turnovers deep in their own territory. While the match up isn’t great for SD they are good enough to keep this game low scoring and possibly stay in it with a chance to win it if they can avoid a negative turnover margin in this game.
DENVER 20 SAN DIEGO 17