The Denver Broncos are faced with their most important matchup of the season this week. If they lose to San Diego, not only will they be two games out of first place in the AFC West, they’ll also be down on the tie break. However, if they win, they’ll be in first in the West.
Without a doubt, this Monday Night Football contest between the Broncos and the Chargers is proving to be one of the most important matchups of Week 6.
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers
NFL Betting Odds: Chargers -1
How The Broncos Can Win
Peyton Manning and the offense hasn’t been the problem for the most part this season, although some of Manning’s throws still look like wobbly ducks and they couldn’t hold on to the ball in a loss in New England. The defense has been terrible and can’t stop the run, coming in 21st in the league in that category. Some experts thought that the defense was banged up by injuries last season; it turns out that Denver simply may not be a good defensive team, but they can get away with it in the West.
At least the Broncos are equipped for a shootout and that may be their best chance to win against the Chargers, who can’t seem to stop the pass.
How The Chargers Can Win
San Diego could improve in the secondary, or they can try and get to Manning, but that probably won’t happen, not in a week. The Chargers were beaten by New Orleans and Drew Brees had a field day, so Manning and the Broncos could do the same, so San Diego’s best chance may also lie in a shootout and then hope to force a couple mistakes out of the Broncos. The Chargers sit atop the West at 3-2 despite having an offense that isn’t ranked in the top 15 in either passing or rushing yards.
A major part of this is Philip Rivers, who is adapting to not having his big-play threat in Vincent Jackson, who is now in Tampa Bay. Rivers was saddled with turnovers last year and still has five picks through the first five games of the season, but he is coming along and if the Chargers could decide on Ryan Mathews or Jackie Battle as a starting running back, his numbers would likely improve as defenses would have to be honest against the Chargers.
Outlook And Pick
The Chargers have a 1-point edge on the Broncos and are going for their fifth win in six games against Denver, who have won two of their last five games in San Diego. You would have to say that these two are the frontrunners in the AFC West and the importance in this game is through the roof.
The focus in this game will obviously be on the quarterbacks, Manning and Rivers, but the pass defenses are what should steal the spotlight because San Diego’s run game may not be able to take advantage of the Broncos. Take a chance and pick Denver on the road on Monday night.
NFL Pick: Broncos +1