Oh, boy. This is a big game for the Broncos. They’re heading into Qualcomm Stadium for a Monday Night Football clash with the lead in the AFC West on the line. What do I think will happen? Glad you asked.
It’s been another wild week in the NFL. Sunday’s games proved once again that the more you think you know about the league, the less you actually know about the league. But it’s not just on “any given Sunday” that chaos can reign supreme. It happens on Monday, too.
I’m predicting a strange and somewhat sloppy game in San Diego tonight. Some bizarre things will happen. They always do.
Philip Rivers will be sacked five or more times and picked at least twice.
The Broncos can force Rivers into whiny mode by getting him to make mistakes. Look for Elvis Dumerville to return to form tonight and to get back into Broncos Country’s good graces by knocking Rivers around. Tracy Porter will wish he hadn’t gotten sick when he sees the sneering QB forcing throws.
Ronnie Hillman will score a TD tonight
Don’t ask me why I think our rookie RB will find paydirt, I just have this feeling. It’ll be on a dumpoff, checkdown type pass from Manning as he spells McGahee
Antonio Gates will light it up.
The Chargers superstar TE has been a disappointment so far this season – both for Chargers fans and for fantasy players. Tonight will be a break-out game for him as San Diego moves him around and creates opportunities for him versus the Broncos LBs and secondary.
Prediction: 7 catches, 85 yards and 2 TDs
Ronnie Brown will be the Chargers’ most effective back
The Broncos will key in on Ryan Matthews, who was spectacular last week,much like they did on Darren McFadden of the Raiders. Rivers will toss quick outs to Ronnie Brown who will amass over 100 total offensive yards.
Demaryius Thomas will fumble away another catch.
The Broncos had DT focused on NOT fumbling this week. The attention will give him the yips. It happens again this week – Thomas drops one – and his critics will be given more fodder for chewing on during the bye
Eddie Royal will make one big play on offense (25+yards)
Guys in the NFL seem to love sticking it to their old teams. Eddie has no reason to be bitter. It’s not like the Broncos ran him off. He was the one who ran off in search of bigger money. Still, Norv Turner will put Eddie in position to give the Broncos the Royal treatment at least once.
The Broncos will trail at half time – by 3
After two quarters the Chargers will lead the Broncos 17-14.
Peyton Manning will throw 40 or more times for over 300 yards and 4 TDs
Big players step up in big games – and, after spending the first half trying to lull the Chargers to sleep with the run game, the Broncos will, once again, open it up in the second half. Manning will throw, throw and throw. The Broncos will have to come from behind – and this time they will actually succeed.
Joel Dreessen will have the Broncos first Touchdown
It’s not a stretch to assume that Dreessen, who seems to have a knack for big plays, will catch the first Manning TD pass in this game. Between he and Antonio Gates, expect a ton of scoring from tight ends.
Willis McGahee will have a pedestrian game, not score.
I am expecting moderate production from the Broncos lead back as the team looks to surprise players like Ronnie Hillman to make plays in SD. Look for McGahee to have around 60 yards on the ground and no TDs – but to pick up a couple of critical first downs.
The Chargers will not convert on third and long even once.
The Broncos know that third downs have been killing them on defense. Del Rio will have them ready this week. The Chargers will not convert a single third down over 7 yards. Instead, Rivers will be pressured. I have no idea how the Broncos will rattle him – but they will.
The Broncos will WIN! 34-23
This is a game they have to have – and they will get it. Denver will head into the bye sitting at 3-3 and 1/2 game ahead of San Diego in the standings.