Last week the Broncos’ defense was torched by the New England Patriots’ fast paced offense. The Chargers are much more methodical in their approach, but just as explosive. Both Ryan Matthews and Philip Rivers have owned the Denver Broncos throughout their careers. One of the few wins that Denver has had against San Diego over the last few years, was completed on a fraudulent call made possible by Ed Hochuli.
Willis McGahee had two costly fumbles, but the Broncos cannot be afraid to give the man the ball. When on his game he can wear down the defenses and what can be better than a tired defense for Peyton Manning to pick apart. McGahee just needs to protect the ball this week.
If the Broncos can get the victory in San Diego tonight, they will even their record with the Chargers and take ownership of first place in the AFC West. A loss will drop them two games behind San Diego and two below .500 at 2-4.
Keys to the Game: I say this every week, but it becomes more and more true with each game. Denver must stick to the run. Whether its lead draws, stretches, dives or traps, the Broncos’ need to man up and run the ball. Peyton Manning needs to set his ego aside and allow his team to run the ball, down after down. And to those who argue that you need to stop running when you are not gaining yards. Watch yesterday’s Giants game. The Giants ran the ball time after time in that first quarter and could not gain a yard. But what did that do. It opened up the whole offense. Eli was able to go over the top and it set up some play action, which is what they eventually scored on. RUN THE BALL!
The interior of the offensive line must protect Peyton Manning. The most pressure that has been put on Manning this year has come through the center and guard positions. This is bad for two reasons. It prevents Manning from stepping into some of his throws, which leads to inaccurate passes. And two, Manning is not mobile enough to get out of the pocket and make plays down field.
Denver’s defense must stop the run. Ryan Matthews has killed the Broncos in the past. If Matthews continues to have the same success that he has become accustomed to, it will be a long Monday Night.
Final Analysis: Both teams are coming off a tough loss last week and have a lot to prove tonight. I like the fact that the Chargers are home and that they have always given Denver and Peyton Manning trouble. This game will be close, but the Chargers will pull away late and take a two game advantage in the AFC West. San Diego 31 Denver 20.