NFL Preview – Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

NFL Preview – Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

NFL Preview – Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

Swiftly moving on to the first full week of NFL in December 2015 and it’s now week 13 of the regular season. This season is flying by, but despite that, this final quarter of the season begs more questions to be answered about who will be in the playoffs more than recent seasons than I can remember. With playoff implications on the line, these final five weeks will be fantastic. Moving on to the late afternoon games, we shift our focus to an AFC West battle in California. The San Diego Chargers, who are more than likely out of playoff contention, will look to restore some pride this season as they take on the Denver Broncos, who are in the hunt for a top two seed in the AFC playoff race.

The San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos are having polar opposite season and we think the gulf in quality will show tonight. We’re picking the Denver Broncos -5.5 at odds of 24/25 with 888sport. You can Treble the Odds on your first £10 bet by signing up here or clicking the banner below!

The San Diego Chargers came into this 2015 season with a renewed confidence. After coming second in the highly competitive AFC West the season before a a respectable 9-7 record and with Phillip Rivers tied up to a new four year contract extension, they thought they could expand on the successes of the previous season. However, now in week 13, with a 3-8 record, questions are being asked about the coaching and leadership of this team. They did fortunately come off their best game of the season last week, beating the 4-6 Jacksonville Jaguars 31-25. They currently sit dead last in the AFC West.

By all measures, Phillip Rivers is surpassing expectations and is living up to his contract extension, he just doesn’t have the support cast needed. Rivers is completing 68.5% of his passes for 3,511 yards. He’s added 23 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. Melvin Gordon has established himself as the top rusher on the team. Gordon has produced 510 yards on the ground this season. Keenan Allen is further establishing himself as a top receiver, adding 725 yards and four touchdowns through the air this season. On the defensive side of the ball, San Diego hasn’t been good. They’ve allowed on average 27.9 points per game and 377.6 yards per game.

One of the hottest topics in the NFL of the previous five seasons was is it time that Peyton Manning retires? That was because of a string of uninspiring performances, before finally shutting the naysayers up with some classic Manning-esque Quarterback work. This season has been worse than ever for Manning though. Despite the Broncos starting the season 7-0, it was largely attributed to their NFL leading defence doing all the work and scoring defensive touchdowns. Manning threw nine touchdowns and an incredible seventeen interceptions which led to Manning getting benched in favour of Brock Osweiler. Osweiler played really well in his first start last week, leading many to believe that Manning is done for good. With that being said, the Broncos are flying high with a 9-2 record, leading the AFC West.

In Brock Osweiler’s single start and one game coming off the bench to replace Manning, he has shown shades of a great future for the Broncos. Osweiler is completing 61.3% of his passes for 666 yards. He’s managed to notch up four touchdowns and two interceptions. Ronnie Hillman has now stepped in as the leading rusher for this team, adding 587 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Demariyus Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have proved to be a dynamic receiving duo for another season, combining for over 1,650 yards and six touchdowns. The Broncos defence has been a saving grace this season, only allowing on average 18.8 points per game and 285.8 yards per game.

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The gulf in quality between these two teams is very evident and Vegas have marked the games up to reflect that, siding with the Denver Broncos as the five and a half point favourites. San Diego is 1-4 against the spread versus a team with a winning record, 1-10 against the spread in their last 11 home games and 3-13 against the spread in conference competition. Denver are 18-7-1 against the spread in games against divisional opposition. In the head-to-head, the road team have covered the spread eight times and ties the spread once in their last ten meetings.

What was seen last week from the Denver Broncos during their win against the previously undefeated defending World Champions, the New England Patriots, is a Quarterback playing with a hint of swagger, confident in his abilities. This has gone amiss with Peyton Manning leading the team thus far this season. With both the defence doing the fantastic work they’ve done all season and the offence finally finding their feet, I think the San Diego Chargers get overrun in this tilt. This defence will simply play smash mouth football and shut down an out of sorts Charger offence. I like Brock Osweiler to get the stylish victory in San Diego. Denver Broncos to cover the -5.5 spread.

Dan Glozier.

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