Jamie Hoyle: This game likely stays fairly close for 2-3 quarters. I think the Chargers find a way to harass Trevor Semien, Joey Bosa records his first of many sack/fumbles to come, but the offense struggles to convert two Denver turnovers into touchdowns. I just don't see how this offensive line manages to open consistent holes for Gordon or, more importantly, keeps Rivers clean. Broncos win 27-16 behind a physical run game that wears down a shorthanded Chargers front seven.
John Gennaro: My prediction? PAIN. In that I think Rivers is going to get hit early and often and will possibly end up leaving the game for his own safety. I think the Chargers go down early and lose big. 30 Broncos 21 Chargers
Louis Gorini: The San Diego Chargers are a desperate, wounded animal. This is somewhat a playoff game for McCoy. If he wins, he advances to the next week. If he loses, he goes home. Usually, in a scenario like this, the team rallies around their coach and wins. The stars certainly seem perfectly aligned for the Chargers to defeat their AFC West rivals. Denver will have their young quarterback coming back from injury, so it is fair to say there will be some rust on his behalf. Also, the Broncos will be without their head coach for this game, which by the way is in San Diego. Melvin Gordon gets back on track and rushes for 80 yards and Rivers uses his talented tight ends to shred the Denver defense. Sadly Chargers pull this one out and prolong the Mike McCoy era. Chargers 24 Broncos 20
SDNativeinTX: I'll roll with last week's prediction... They seem to be valid and accurate. The Chargers will lose in some vile manner, never seen before in the NFL.
Matthew Stanley: The Broncos are traveling to San Diego, they probably still don't know who will start at QB this week, they don't have their head coach, and they probably still win this game. I think this will be another 1 score game and the Chargers lose. I'm thinking 24-20 Broncos.
Kyle Posey: This one is going to be ugly, like most prime time games this year. I think it'll start off slow. Like a 10-6 at the half. There will be a couple big plays in the 2nd half by both teams but it really comes down to how the chargers will blow it once they're up 17-13 in the 4th. Rivers will fumble the snap, give the Broncos a short field and they punch it in to win, 20-17
Ruben J. Gonzalez: In a season that seemingly begs you to expect the unexpected, it is my pleasure to remind you to expect the unexpected. This week, though, things fall in place in the Chargers favor. Last week, the Chargers held up as best they could against a pass rush that might be better than the Broncos. (I said might be!) Phillip Rivers will have just enough time to step up into the pocket and find a receiver, and if the Chargers learned anything from the Broncos loss to Atlanta, finding the RB in the passing game is the blueprint. (Damn, could have really used Woody here). Bosa the Boss will make his home debut and just like he did against the Raiders, he will introduce himself in grand fashion with another strong game. Ultimately, the offense will do enough, and the defense will do enough, Chargers win 27-13. And as unexpected as this dominating win will seem, it will not be enough to save Gun Shy McCoy, as he will be fired. Again, expect the unexpected.
Jeff Siniard: It will be interesting to see the impact with Gary Kubiak not calling the plays for Denver on offense. However, there's one thing we know about Kubiak's offense - it's built on zone run plays with play action deep shots. This means an undermanned Chargers defense will not only have tough match-ups on the outside but will also have to maintain focus and discipline, especially if Siemian returns as QB. On the other side of the ball, Atlanta showed everyone how to take advantage of Denver's defense, and if the Chargers were fully healthy on offense, they could take similar advantage. Not having Allen outside, and not having Woodhead and Oliver makes following Atlanta's plan more difficult. And then we have the Chargers near-mystical ability to make exactly the mistakes they have to make to lose. It's another painful, close loss. Denver 20, San Diego 16.
Ryan Doyle: Chargers 20 Broncos 31. Denver will get after Philip Rivers and force a turnover or two. Melvin Gordon is going to continue to struggle to break free. Especially against this vaunted Denver defense. Trevor Siemian is going to play it safe like he has all year and not turn the ball over. And expect Denver to Put the ball in CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker's hands all night and keep the Chargers offense off the field. I also expect Joey Bosa to have another good game as he is still trying to prove some of his naysayers wrong.
Roger Hinojosa: The snakebitten Chargers aren't looking good this season and may finish at the bottom of the league based off the way things are going. This game will only add to that as McCoy's job will be safe for another week. I see the Chargers edging out the Broncos this week. There is no slowing down Philip Rivers and the offense and I see them continuing their success. Though the Chargers are prone to turnovers and they're going up against a solid defense, who will give them some trouble, I see the offense performing well enough to win this game. If the Chargers can slow down the Broncos run game and rattle their young QB early on, then the Chargers have a solid chance at winning. Not sure if the Broncos just had a fluke loss because of health issues with players and Gary Kubiak, but this could be part of a slump while they figure out how to open up their playbook and get the offense rolling. With the short week, keep an eye on special teams. Chargers bounce back this week and McCoy keeps his job with a 27-21 win over the Broncos
Jamie Sewell: I don't think you can ever be happy after a loss to a divisional rival, but one here wouldn't drastically upset me as it would likely mean the end of Mike McCoy's reign as HC of the Chargers. I still think that a healthy, well coached Chargers team could beat the Broncos, but the Chargers are neither of those two things. The offensive line is a mess - which spells DANGER against a defense like the Broncos - and the Chargers defense is too depleted to stop the Broncos offense. Demaryius Thomas and Emanuel Sanders against Casey Heyward, Craig Mager, and Stevie Williams is not a matchup I particularly like. Having said that, the Chargers will still keep it close, losing to a 1 yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas with the last play of the game. Broncos 30-27 Chargers.
Daniel Stebbins: SD will now face a real test, going up against by far the best defense they have faced to this point. We know the offense can produce, even if the team can do nothing else. Can they continue that this week? I think they will, albeit in a losing effort. Bosa and Jatavis continue to impress, the secondary (minus Hayward) continue to be awful. Who plays QB for Denver doesn't matter, really. Denver wins 30-27.
Daniel Farias: The Chargers catch the Broncos on a short week at home. However, they get a Broncos team that will be angry and determined to get a win after their first loss. The Broncos will also be inspired to win one for their head coach Gary Kubiak who was hospitalized Sunday. This is a classic matchup of a good offense vs a good defense. If the super bowl is evidence, defense usually wins. I expect a sloppy game with multiple turnovers on both sides. The Broncos should be effective running the ball on offense and rushing the passer on defense against a beat up Bolts team. 24-21 Broncos.
Aaron Woolley: These teams are almost complete opposites. The Broncos have a weak offense and a strong defense whereas the Chargers have a strong offense and a weaker defense despite what the stats tell. Melvin Gordon won't be able to score a TD in this one, but with the steady emergence of Tyrell Williams, he'll have a 100-yard day and 2 scores. I think this game won't be decided in the last few minutes for once. The Chargers rally as a goodbye to Mike McCoy, and with their strong offense, are able to put away the Broncos. Even though, it'll be too little, too late to save Mike McCoy's season. Chargers win in two ways (the game and with McCoy's firing). 20- 10, Chargers
Richard Wade: A division road game on a short week without your head coach who also happens to call the plays on offense is a recipe for trouble. Fortunately for the Broncos and people who want Mike McCoy to get fired, none of that will matter because the talent gap is just too wide. Broncos win 24-21.