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The Broncos are a Better Team
The Denver Broncos have won 11 of 15 games. The San Diego Chargers have lost 11 of 15 games.
By DVOA, the Broncos are ranked 8th in the league and the Chargers are ranked 23rd.
Now, anything can happen in the NFL. However, this isn't the same San Diego Chargers team that had been playing tough defense lately. Eric Weddle is gone, as is Jason Verrett, and Manti Te'o probably isn't playing much either.
So, the starters of a better team will at home, going up against the backups of a bad team. There's a reason that Las Vegas has the Broncos as a 9-point favorite in this one.
Early tomorrow morning, I'll be traveling to Denver for the second time in my life. Last time I was there, I felt like I was going to pass out any time I walked further than a block or up a flight of stairs. The thin air is a real problem.
Now, talk to anyone who lives in Denver and they'll tell you that "You get used to it." I believe that, but it doesn't apply to me or anyone else traveling to town for a couple of days, like the San Diego Chargers.
As I always say, the Denver Broncos have the best home field advantage in the league because the air is literally more difficult to breathe for the away team than it is for the home team. That will play a factor, because it always does.
Playing for the Wrong (?) Reasons
Mike McCoy wants to win this game because it is the only way that he might keep his job (hopefully), but nobody else should really care if the San Diego Chargers defeat the Denver Broncos or not. In fact, the Chargers losing this game would be beneficial for the future of the team/roster.
That being said, some guys can't turn it off. Namely, Philip Rivers. However, I think this game will be somewhat of an exception when it comes to Rivers' priorities. Since this very well could be the last time he is ever throwing passes to Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates, I would not be the least bit surprised to see him forcing balls their way in lieu of open receivers.