San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
The San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos meet in a pivotal game in the wide open AFC West. The Chargers are -7 point favorites over the Broncos with an over/under point total set at 44.5.
The San Diego Chargers were hoping to bounce back from last year where they uncharacteristically missed the playoffs but Norv Turner’s team is mired in a five game losing streak that barring a strong run to finish the season will cost him his job. QB Phillip Rivers has always been known as a gunslinger and risk taker but this season he has been forced to take even more chances and has made plenty of mistakes as he has completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 3,023 yards with 15 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Ryan Mathews is averaging 4.5 yards per carry for 580 yards and three touchdowns and Mike Tolbert has 296 yards and four touchdowns. Vincent Jackson and Tolbert each have 42 catches with Jackson having seven touchdowns and Antonio Gates has 34 catches and three touchdowns. The Chargers defense allows 336.1 yards per game and 25.9 points and they have 18 sacks, five fumble recoveries, and 10 interceptions for a minus 16 turnover margin. Donald Butler has 64 tackles, Antwan Barnes has six sacks, and Eric Weddle has five interceptions. The Chargers have made it a practice of letting go of players and trading away draft picks as they have felt they were close to a Super Bowl but it appears that strategy is backfiring and the turnovers are just killing this team.
The Denver Broncos are on a three game winning streak that has them right in the thick of the AFC West race. The story in Denver plain and simple is QB Tim Tebow who has struggled for the better part of his time on the field this season but when it comes to crunch time he consistently delivers for three wins in a row and four wins in their last five games. Tebow has completed just 44.8 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and an interception but he has run for 388 yards and three touchdowns with most of those yards being in the clutch when his team looked finished. Willis McGahee has had a rebirth this season averaging 4.7 yards per carry for 658 yards and three touchdowns. Eric Decker has emerged as a viable NFL receiver with 34 catches and seven touchdowns and Demaryius Thomas is emerging as a threat as well. Defensively the Broncos allow 356.4 yards per game and 24.7 points and they have recorded 27 sacks, have nine fumble recoveries, and seven interceptions for a minus four turnover differential. Wesley Woodyard has 69 tackles, Von Miller has 9.5 sacks, and Joe May has 50 tackles. While I felt the Broncos would be improved this season it isn’t happening exactly as I nor anyone else drew it up.
San Diego is 2-6-1 against the spread as a favorite, 0-5 against the spread in their last five games overall, and 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five games against the AFC West. Denver is 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games, 4-0 against the spread in their last four AFC games, and 2-8-1 against the spread in their last 11 games following a cover. Denver is 1-8-2 against the spread in the last 11 meetings of these two.
The total in this one is set at 44.5 and I don’t see it coming close to going over that number as Denver has trouble moving the ball the bulk of the game and the Chargers can’t help but continually stall their own drives.