NFL Preview - Denver Broncos - San Diego Chargers
This Sunday the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers will face each other to determine who gets to advance to the AFC Championship game next weekend. Their opponent will be the winner of the Patriots – Colts game.
Last week the Broncos were resting since they managed to score the number one seed before the playoffs. The Chargers faced the Cincinnati Bengals and despite being a huge underdog, managed to take home an impressive win with a 17 point difference. The Chargers needed to win their last five games during regular season if they wanted to make the playoffs, and they did just that. This Sunday we will see if their Cinderella story continues.
Though the Broncos are a big favourite for this game, let’s not forget that on week 15 the Chargers visited Denver and went home with the win. We should also keep in mind that both the Broncos and their quarterback Payton Manning don’t exactly have the reputation of being the best playoff players. Last year the Broncos were a big favourite for winning the Superbowl, yet they ended up going home after their first playoff game.
Offensively the Broncos have been red hot all year. Averaging 457.3 yards and 37.8 points per game they were clearly the most dangerous offence in the NFL. Payton Manning broke God knows how many records, including both ‘most passing yards’ and ‘most touchdowns’ seasonal records.
Currently Manning has 659 passing attempts leading to 450 completions for 5477 yards and 55 touchdowns.
Manning can’t really complain about his receivers either. He has four different receivers who have caught at least 10 touchdowns! Demaryius Thomas (1430 yards, 14 touchdowns), Eric Decker (1288 yards, 11 touchdowns), Julius Thomas (788 yards, 12 touchdowns) and Wes Welker (778 yards, 10 touchdowns) have been his favourite targets.
On the rushing offence it’s a bit more complicated with multiple backs taking turns in running the ball during the season. Knowshon Moreno (1038 yards, 10 touchdowns) has taken over as the main running back and Montee Ball (559 yards, 4 touchdowns) is the number two in their depth chart. I’d expect both to be seen on the field this Sunday.
Their defence has been quite effective too, though allowing an average of 24.9 points is a bit worrying seeing as the Broncos do spend a lot of time on the offence, which should make things easier for the defence. Currently their defence is their biggest worry, they need to create more turnovers and manage to force a couple of 3 & out situations in this game.
Defensively the San Diego Chargers are on par with the Broncos. They have allowed a bit more yards but they have a 3 point advantage per game. Turnovers have been scarce, with the Chargers getting only 17 turnovers during regular season.
On the offence the Chargers are biased towards a strong rushing game. Averaging 122.8 yards per game on the ground puts them close to the top of the league. Their passing offence has been decent with about 270 yards per game, but obviously that is nothing compared to the Broncos’ 340.
Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers has made a successfull comeback to the NFL. No one really expected him to be this good but the statistics speak for themselves, 544 attempts leading to 378 completions for 4478 yards and 32 touchdowns. Surprisingly there isn’t much to say about their receivers. Keenan Allen (1046 yards, 8 touchdowns) is definitely their number one target while Antonio Gates (872 yards, 4 touchdowns) is also getting a lot of balls thrown his way.
Another player you should keep your eyes on is their running back Danny Woodhead. Not only does he have a great name for a running back, he also gets things done on both the ground and the air. He currently has 429 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns as well as 605 receiving yards and 6 receiving touchdowns. Their other running back, Ryan Matthews (1255 yards, 6 touchdowns) is more focused on the running game whereas Woodhead is more versatile.
While the Broncos are without a doubt the favourite here, their weak playoff history coupled together with the Chargers amazing comeback et the end of the season, leads me to believe this game is not over yet. The Chargers are playing without pressure, they really don’t have anything to lose. They do stand a real chance but in order to not risk it too much, let’s take the generous handicap which Pinnacle offers us.
Back the Chargers +9 @ 1.95 with Sbobet
Alex Lucken 2013-2014 Season - Hit Rate 55.0%- Staked 2000.0 Returned 2072.10 ROI 3.6%