The Denver Broncos visit sunny California to take on the Chargers in this divisional showdown. However, the Broncos offense has been anything but sunny coming off their embarrassing Thursday night 12-9 loss to the Colts, in a game tabbed the most dreadful of the year. Meanwhile, the Chargers narrowly escaped Cleveland with a win after a poor fourth down call nearly cost them the game. These two teams will face-off on Monday Night Football, and hopefully the Broncos won’t cause another primetime dud.
Denver Broncos Vs. Los Angeles Chargers Betting Odds
The Los Angeles Chargers are favored (-5.5) at home over the Broncos (+5.5). A win for the Chargers will propel them to 4-2 while a loss will even both teams out to 3-3 in the AFC West race. The over/under is set at 45.5.
Denver Broncos Vs. Los Angeles Chargers Prediction
The Denver Broncos offense is in hot water going into their game versus the Chargers. Russell Wilson was supposed to be their first elite quarterback since Peyton Manning, but instead players from both the Seahawks and Broncos reportedly have beef with Wilson. Fans felt so upset with his performance that they left the stadium before overtime. The frustration is understandable, especially after missing a wide open K.J. Hamler at the end of the Colts game.
KJ Hamler was wide open during the final 4th and 1 play Thursday night.
Russell Wilson did not throw it to him and the Broncos turned it over on downs. Hamler was visibly upset after pic.twitter.com/BNzK9MsS7B
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) October 7, 2022
Not only do Wilson and the Broncos put up a measly 15 points per game, 2nd worst in the league, but Nathaniel Hackett’s coaching decisions seem questionable at best. The new Hackett-Wilson tandem better turn it around quickly before everyone turns on them.
In contrast, the Chargers have one of the top passing offenses in the league. Despite a painful rib injury in week 2, QB Justin Herbert has led his team to the #2 passing offense in the league. Though they have the 11th worst run offense, things are looking up after Austin Ekeler put together his best game of the season versus the Browns, running for 173 yards and averaging an enormous 10.8 yards per carry. On the other side of the ball, the defense has failed to match the offense’s success, even with a defensive-minded coach and many offseason additions. Instead, the Chargers have a disappointing 3rd worst scoring defense and a bottom ten defense in yards allowed. Like Hackett, Staley’s calls have also come into question, particularly some of his decisions to go for it on 4th down, like this one below.
In a battle likely to be filled with questionable coaching decisions, I pick the Chargers to win at home versus the Broncos. Though the Broncos have extra rest after playing on Thursday and the Chargers have the least intimidating home crowd, I do expect Justin Herbert and the Chargers newfound running game to secure a Bolts win.
Prediction: Chargers 27-17, Under hits.
- Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. AFC West
- Chargers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
Denver Broncos Injuries: Darius Phillips (Q), P.J. Locke (Q), Jonathon Cooper (Q), Quinn Meinerz (Q), Aaron Patrick (Q), Brandon Johnson (Q), Russell Wilson (Q), Baron Browning (Q), Josey Jewell (Q), Tom Compton (Q), Justin Simmons (Q)
Los Angeles Chargers Injuries: Trey Pipkins (Q), Dustin Hopkins (Q), Keenan Allen (Q)
Broncos vs Chargers Key Matchups
Will Herbert be able to throw on this Broncos secondary? Check out the key matchups for Broncos vs Chargers below.
Chargers Pass Offense vs Broncos Pass Defense
Despite the Broncos offensive woes, the defensive and especially pass defense have done their part to keep them in games. Their pass defense is currently #1 in yards allowed, only giving up 176.6 yards per game. Second year CB Patrick Surtain II has emerged as one of the next best corners in the league, with PFF ranking him the 11th best CB in his sophomore season. Though the Chargers have a couple strong receivers in Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, Allen is questionable this Sunday. His absence could limit Justin Herbert’s options and allow Surtain II to shadow Williams. Look for the Chargers to target Ekeler out of the backfield if Herbert’s options out wide are limited.
Broncos Offensive Line vs Chargers Front Seven
On paper, this matchup heavily favors the Chargers defensive front. The Chargers D-line is stacked with proven players such as Khalil Mack, Kyle Van Noy and Sebastian Joseph Day, but are still 12th in the league with just 12 sacks. Despite all their offseason additions, they also still have the NFL’s 8th worst run defense. The Broncos offensive line isn’t exactly dominant though, as they’ve allowed the 7th most sacks with 16. They also suffered a major blow when star OT Garrett Bolles broke his leg versus the Colts and will miss the rest of the season. The Chargers should try to take advantage of this matchup and get their promising D-line going in the right direction.