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Chargers vs. Broncos 2016 picks and predictions: Denver favored in AFC West rematch

Philip Rivers may have a tough time getting anything going against the stout Broncos D.

The Denver Broncos continue their quest to repeat as Super Bowl champions with Sunday’s matchup against the San Diego Chargers. The Broncos are currently tied for first in the AFC West at 5-2, coming off a runaway win against the Texans last week. Their opponents, the Chargers, sit at 3-4, but pulled off a dramatic overtime win against the Falcons in Week 7.

The Broncos have weathered the retirement of Peyton Manning and the departure of Brock Osweiler in large part due to the continued success of their defense. While Trevor Siemian has posted a 91.8 quarterback rating and thrown just three interceptions in six games this season, it has been the defensive unit that has continued to excel.

The Broncos defense has allowed the third-fewest yards per game this season, including the best passing defense in the league. Linebacker Von Miller has made life difficult for opposing quarterbacks this season — his 7.5 sacks put him second among all players.

The success of the Denver defense means Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers may have more difficulty finding the time to connect with his receivers. Rivers ranks fifth among all NFL quarterbacks with 2,018 yards this season and has also thrown 13 touchdowns. Rivers’ play helped contribute to the Chargers’ victory earlier this season against the Broncos. He threw for 178 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 21-13 win in Week 6.

Despite the Chargers’ prior victory over the Broncos, the pick makers give the Broncos the advantage for Week 8’s matchup in Denver. While CBS’s picks split evenly on this matchup, ESPN’s picks favor the Broncos by an overwhelming 8-1 margin.

Here at SB Nation, seven of nine writers plus the OddsShark computer pick Denver. Only Adam Stites and Stephen White have picked San Diego to win.

Game RVB Stephen White Thomas George Jeanna Thomas Adam Stites Tyler Tynes Louis Bien Joel Thorman Fooch OddsShark computer