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Three reasons why the Denver Broncos will beat the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football.
Denver's Pass Rush
Is the Denver Broncos' pass rush as good as it was last season? Probably not. Can it be that good? Yes. Will it probably look that good when Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil are being blocked by the likes of Mike Harris, Jeromey Clary, and Ryan Mathews/Ronnie Brown? Yes.
I'm actually concerned about Philip Rivers' ability to make it through this game un-harmed if Norv Turner calls any 7-step drop passes.
I really, really hate the no-huddle offense. You want to know why? Because it's brilliant and it works, and the Chargers are terrible at defending it and refuse to ever run it on offense (meaning they're terrible at running it on offense if they ever need to).
I'd be really confident about the Chargers' chances of stopping the Broncos' running attack completely, making them one-dimensional, and then blitzing the hell out of Peyton Manning. However, Manning will respond with a no-huddle offense where he can keep guys like Antwan Barnes and Melvin Ingram off the field and tired everyone else out. It could get ugly.
Speaking of Peyton Manning getting matchups that he wants and using the no-huddle to repeatedly exploit them..... Cason trying to defend Demaryius Thomas terrifies me, and it should do the same for you.
Thomas is basically the exact receiver that you'd want to build to exploit all of Cason's weaknesses. He's fast, so Antoine will give him a 10+ yard cushion. He's strong, so he'll beat Cason on every jump ball. He's tough to tackle, so screen passes to him will have a 60% chance of going for a big play when he's up against Cason.
If I were creating the Broncos' gameplan this week, it would be "Get Thomas on Cason and throw in that direction." It would work, too. Here's to hoping that I'm smarter than the Denver Broncos.