The Denver Broncos will look to all but lock up the AFC West and sweep their division rivals in the process when they host the San Diego Chargers in Week 11 on late Sunday afternoon. In Week 6, Denver rallied from a 24-0 halftime deficit in San Diego, going on a 35-0 run in the second half to beat the Chargers on Monday Night Football.
At 4-5, the Chargers need a win to keep pace with the red-hot 6-3 Broncos, winners of four straight contests. Denver's streak began with the comeback Monday night win over San Diego.
Meet the Denver Broncos
Including the Week 6 win over the Chargers, quarterback Peyton Manning has thrown 10 touchdowns and three interceptions in Denver's four consecutive victories. The passing offense, averaging 292.9 yards per game, ranks third in the league.
Defensively, the Broncos rank sixth in the NFL, allowing an average of 316.8 yards per game and tenth in points allowed, giving up 21.0 per contest. With one win over San Diego already, the Broncos could make it difficult for anyone to catch them in the AFC West standings with a victory.
Meet the San Diego Chargers
San Diego has dropped four of their last five games, their only win in that time coming against the Chiefs in Week 9. The Chargers defense ranks in the league's top 11 in yards per game (317.0 per game) and points allowed (21.2 per contest).
Quarterback Philip Rivers is tied for second-most in the NFL with 12 interceptions, countering that with 15 touchdowns and 2,203 passing yards. His completion percentage of 68.0 is good for fourth-best in the league.
Local Takes: Broncos
Blogger BroncoPH from Mile High Report says the Broncos can't be content with their current hot streak:
"We are fortunate to be where we are and much of it can be attributed to the success of Peyton Manning, someone you'd never see crossing this line as he completes his own comeback story. Now is not the time to be taking our success for granted. Any attitude of entitlement has to be taken care of right away or we'll be getting ours sooner than we'd like to think."
Local Takes: Chargers
John Gennaro of Bolts From The Blue says this season could be head coach Norv Turner's last in San Diego:
"Barring some incredible chain of events, Norv Turner will be fired at the end of this season or sooner. He'll then need to decide what his next move will be. Owners will be hesitant to hire him as a Head Coach ever again because their fans think that Norv's a "loser", despite the fact that he's yet to have a losing season with the Chargers. Owners want their new Head Coaches to be charismatic and get the fans going wild, and Norv's not the guy to do that."
Follow the Fun
Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:
Imagine if Rivers came to camp and suddenly didn't run like a baby giraffe? Wouldn't that be the biggest improvement he could make?— Bolts From The Blue (@BFTB_Chargers) November 13, 2012
@BroncosTV - Chris Hall, Manager of Team Media for the Broncos
Down 24, no problem. Here's the 'Start of the Streak': dbron.co/18r— Chris Hall (@BroncosTV) November 15, 2012
@UTgehlken - Michael Gehlken, Chargers beat writer.
Broncos coach John Fox says he didn't know of "sticky" towels before last month's Chargers game. It seems his QB did: utsd.us/UqH8nv— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) November 15, 2012
If anyone cares about the AFC West, this is a big game in the division. A Denver win gives the Broncos a three-game lead in the division with just six games to go. In other words, the Broncos can effectively seal the deal with a win. Expect them to do that, especially with Peyton Manning playing like he's from another planet right now.
The pick: 30-20, Broncos.
The line opened with Denver as 6½-point favorites, according to OddsShark, but has since increased in the Broncos' favor, as they are currently favored by 8½ points. The over/under point total for the game sits at 48½.
In Week 12, the Broncos stay in the division when they travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. It doesn't get easier for San Diego, though, as they host the Baltimore Ravens.