j-man's Game Preview: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

1962 program cover, courtesy the San Diego Hall of Champions

Because I am still filled with turkey, stuffing. alcohol and pie, j-man has volunteered to preview the game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos on Sunday.

 

j-man: If you would've told me a few weeks ago that Denver would've been 1 game out of 1st place in the AFC West, I would've called you crazy....but here we are.

The Broncos have been playing to Tim Tebow's strong points as a player, but the main reason Denver has won 3 games in a row is the outstanding pass-rush. The defense has turned into one of the 10 best in the league and is forcing plenty of 3 & Outs.

The Broncos offense is the worst in the NFL. That being said, Tebow makes enough plays in crunch time to win the game.

Remember in 2007 when the Broncos had a big lead in the AFC West and San Diego took it away because they were simply a better team? Well, anything short of winning out and the AFC West championship and Norv will be gone. Vincent Jackson will probably be gone too. Philip Rivers is very good but something seems off this year. Part of it is that Philip looks like he's trying too hard and Antonio Gates is no longer an elite player.

San Diego's run game is just so-so behind a very injured offensive line that wasn't as good as some previous Chargers lines even when healthy. Those San Diego teams from 2006-2009 had a great offense and a great defense as well, with a strong pass-rush that was backed by good play by the cornerbacks. If on Monday you're asking how the Chargers season could be over when the Broncos isn't, the answer is the defense and the pass-rush.

Even if the Chargers beat the Broncos, a lot of what will determine their ranking in the division is on the shoulders of Caleb Hannie and the Chicago Bears. They play the Raiders this week, who still have winnable games against the Vikings, Bills and Chiefs. Right now it appears like the Chargers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They need a new voice at Head Coach, but want someone that will work with A.J. Smith. If they go streaking and win the AFC West, Norv Turner stays and nothing gets any better.

Sunday's game is incredibly important to the Broncos. If Denver can win, they might just be the favorite to win the division. If they lose, the Broncos will probably have to win the remainder of their games and hope that San Diego beats Oakland in Week 17. They key to this game will be whether or not Tim Tebow can complete enough passes downfield to keep the Safeties deep so that Willis McGahee can run the ball and keep Rivers off of the field.

 

The Norv Turner Chargers have taught me to be afraid. If they were win out the rest of the season and win the division, I don't know that I'd be surprised at all.

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