San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers meet for the third time this season as they face off in the AFC Playoffs in Sunday NFL action. The Broncos are -9 point favorites over the Chargers with an over/under point total set at 54.5.
The Denver Broncos are a the top seed in the NFL playoffs and after getting a bye this past weekend hey take to the field. The Broncos are looking for revenge both for San Diego’s recent win over them back on December 12th but they are also looking to make up for last year’s playoff shortfall when they lost in this same spot to the Ravens. Peyton manning knows his years are numbered and he has no contract in place for next year so more than likely he is looking to go out a winner here. Manning has had an MVP type season but none of that matters without the Super Bowl ring. Denver has mixed it up in the backfield but Knowshon Moreno has been the workhorse. Wes Welker missed the latter part of the season but he will be back for this one but Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and others are all coming off of career years receiving for the Broncos. The Denver defense has been somewhat vulnerable starting the season without Von Miller but never really becoming a stopper. The offense has certainly carried the Broncos and if they happen to go all of the way it will be the offense leading the way.
The San Diego Chargers are the surprise team left in the playoffs as hey needed help on the final Sunday of the season just to get in and then once they got in they made the most of it beating the Bengals. The Chargers beat the Broncos in their prior meeting and kept it to within eight points in the first game this season in Denver so they won’t be intimidated by anything they see from the Broncos. Phillip Rivers is still looking for validation as a QB as while we often hear about his quick release and strong arm we never hear him mentioned as one of the best in the game though his position as a starter is never questioned nor in jeopardy. Ryan Matthews had been seen as a disappointment coming into this season but he came through with his biggest year of his career. Antonio Gates stayed healthier than he has in ears and Keenan Allen is an emerging star at receiver. The difference maker has been Danny Woodhead that gives the Chargers a diverse offensive player they have been missing since Darren Sproles left for New Orleans. It is no coincidence that the departure of Sproles and the Chargers decline and the arrival of Woodhead and the rise of the Chargers seem to all go hand in hand. Defensively the Chargers don’t have a lot of big names outside of Eric Weddle yet they have gotten it done and at this point are one of only eight teams left with a chance to win the Super Bowl.
Denver is 6-1-1 against the spread against the AFC West, 6-2 against the spread in their last eight home playoff games, and 5-2-1 against the spread against in their last eight games. San Diego is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games, 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record, and 8-3-1 against the spread in their last 11 road games. The underdog has covered the point spread in four of the last five meetings of these two.
The total is set at 54.5 but recent meetings of these two aren’t even in the neighborhood of that number so my pick here is the under.