Players to Watch
RB Mike Tolbert - Ryan Mathews is likely out for tonight’s game so Tolbert will get the bulk of carries. In many ways he has been more effective than Mathews and is a touchdown machine with 7 already. He’ll be going up against the worst ranked rushing defense in the league, so expect big yards on the ground and a couple touchdowns for Tolbert.
LB Kevin Burnett - #99 is one of the more underrated linebackers in the league. He doesn’t excel at any one area, but his abilities are solid across the board. He seems to always be around the ball due to his quickness, which will be essential to make sure receivers are not gaining any yards after the catch.
QB Phillip Rivers- Not the most likable guy in the league, but he is putting up elite numbers for the 3rd straight year. If the Chargers had a better record, he would be right at the top of the MVP conversation. Rivers likes to air the ball out and leads the league in average yards per attempt. The Broncos have some weaknesses in their pass defense, and Rivers will exploit them for another big game.
Key Matchup: San Diego Chargers vs. Themselves- San Diego’s biggest challenge this year has been themselves. Stupid penalties, costly turnovers, and lousy special teams have resulted in a losing record for a team with one of the best offenses and defenses in the league. If the Chargers limit their mistakes they can beat anyone, but they have not been able to do so with any constancy this year. If the Chargers can play disciplined football, they will win big tonight.
Why the Chargers Will Win- Dating back to last season, the Broncos have lost 10 of their last 13 games. Kyle Orton has been playing extremely well this year, but the complete lack of a running game and suspect defense have prevented this team from wins. The Chargers have more talent and a better game plan on their side, and they will have to make a lot of mistakes to end up losing this game. The Broncos did beat the Chiefs last week, but history tells us that win was more of a fluke and is not likely to continue. Phillip Rivers and Mike Tolbert are in for a big game and it will likely be over by halftime.
Prediction: Chargers 42, Broncos 10