San Diego Chargers (5-2) at Denver Broncos (5-1)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 23, 2014, 8:25 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Denver Broncos -7.5 -- Over/Under: 51
The San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos will play Thursday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The San Diego Chargers are coming off an upset loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and hope to prove themselves to the NFL world with a win here. The Chargers offense will continue to live and die with Philip Rivers, who is completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns and three interceptions. In his last two games, Rivers has eight touchdown passes and two picks. The Chargers have seven different players with double-digit receptions, and Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates have combined for 10 touchdown receptions and close to 800 yards. The Chargers have to have great success through the air because they have no running game as they’re averaging just three yards per carry. Donald Brown remains questionable with a concussion and Branden Oliver has 168 rushing yards in his last two games. San Diego has just three rushing touchdowns all season long. Defensively, the San Diego Chargers are allowing 16.3 points, 316.4 yards, and they’ve forced nine turnovers and 15 sacks. Eric Weddle leads the Chargers with 47 tackles and Kavell Conner has two forced fumbles.
The Denver Broncos continue to roll and are coming off a Sunday night beatdown of the San Francisco 49ers. Peyton Manning is just as sharp as he’s ever been, completing 68.7 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and three interceptions. The Broncos have won 11 straight games when Manning throws three or more touchdowns. The Broncos have 25 passing plays of 25 or more yards, and Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas have combined for 15 touchdowns. Emmanuel Sanders is second on the team with 38 receptions and caught his first touchdown last week. The Broncos ground game averages 3.6 yards per carry and Ronnie Hillman is coming off a two-touchdown performance. Defensively, the Denver Broncos allow 20.2 points, 316.8 yards, and they’ve forced six turnovers and 21 sacks. Brandon Marshall leads the Broncos with 47 tackles and Von Miller has eight sacks.
The Chargers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Broncos are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 8. The Chargers are 7-0-4 ATS in their last 11 meetings in Denver and 11-4-2 ATS in their last 17 meetings overall.
I chalk up the Chargers loss last week to looking ahead to this game and for good reason. The last four meetings between these two teams have been decided by eight or less points. The Chargers have the offense to go toe-to-toe with Manning and the defense tends to play a notch better for these type of matchups. I'm confident the Chargers will continue to cover and I wouldn't be surprised if SD wins outright.