NFL Divisional Round Preview: San Diego Chargers vs Denver Broncos

Chargers vs Broncos Divisional Round preview

1/12/14 in NFL   |   jakeryanbrown   |   28 respect

(6) San Diego Chargers (10-7) vs (1) Denver Broncos – Sunday, 4:40PM at Mile High Stadium (37 degrees, cloudy)
 
November 18, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) and San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers (17) after the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  The Broncos won 30-23.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY SportsPhillip Rivers is still looking to have that one statement win that he could put on the top of his NFL resume.  A win in Denver against the Broncos in January would get him there.  The Chargers were 5-7 with their playoff hopes fading and then won four straight to get to the playoffs.  They went into Cincinnati and dominated, continuing the Bengals playoff drought.  Andy Dalton is no Peyton Manning.  The Chargers are playing with the big boys now.
 
The Chargers are riding high and it comes at the perfect time, but the Broncos high-powered offense is poised for a Super Bowl run.  You can look back at the December 12th matchup when the Chargers went into Denver and beat the Broncos, 27-20.  This is a new season.  The playoffs are a different story and Manning has a legacy to uphold today in Denver.  Everyone has questioned whether he could win in the cold weather in the big playoff games.  Now is his time to prove his nay-sayers wrong against a Chargers team that is lucky to even be here.  Manning set records this year in passing yards and his absurd 55 TDs and now he has a running game to make his offense unstoppable.  Knowshon Moreno had a terrific season, running for over 1,000 yards and 10 TDs on a Broncos offense that averaged 38 PPG. 
 
Any chance for the Chargers to win will rely on the health of their running back Ryan Matthews.  He will Dec 8, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (27) rushes in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Titans 51-28. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sportsplay, but with an ankle injury and without practicing this week, it is hard to see him have a huge effect on this game.  The Broncos have stopped the run all season, only allowing over 100 yards to a running back to Matthews in that game a month ago.  The Chargers will have to rely too much on Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead in this game.  I strongly believe Rivers gives them all he can against the 13-3 Broncos, but will it be enough?  San Diego will fight to the final whistle, but in the end the Broncos are too damn good.  Their offense cannot be stopped, even against a Chargers team riding him into Mile High.  The Chargers will keep the game close, but Matt Prater knocks down a late field goal in the final minutes to send the Broncos to the AFC Championship. 
 
Manning vs Brady next week…hold on tight NFL fans.  It’s showtime.
 
PREDICTION:
BRONCOS-34 CHARGERS-31
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