Kickoff: Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 8:30 EST on ESPN
All eyes are on the AFC West for a critical Monday Night matchup between the Broncos and Chargers.
Denver comes into San Diego with a 2-3 record, following a 31-21 loss at New England last week. The Broncos have lost three out of their last four games, but they’ve had a tough schedule so far. In the first five weeks, they’ve faced the Steelers, Texans, Patriots and Falcons, with the only relatively easy game being against the 1-4 Raiders.
Peyton Manning has been impressive coming back from offseason neck surgery. The surely Hall of Fame QB is fourth in the NFL in passer rating, and has thrown 11 touchdowns to go with just three interceptions. Turnovers have been an enormous problem for the Broncos – the team is ranked 28th overall in turnover differential, and had three lost fumbles in their loss to New England last week.
The 3-2 Chargers are coming off a Sunday Night Football loss to the previously winless New Orleans Saints. The Chargers led nearly all game and were up by 10 points at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Rivers has slowly gotten better as the year has gone on, and he had one of his better games in the loss to the Saints, throwing for 354 yards and two touchdowns. He has been especially adept against the Broncos in his career. Rivers is 9-3 as a starter against Denver and has thrown for 20 touchdowns in those games.
This one opened at Denver -1, and has moved rapidly to pk, and Denver +1. It’s a mix between online books right now, with some offering +1 and pk. The total opened at 50 and is now at 49 or 48.5
The Chargers haven’t looked all that impressive this year, but they are still 3-2 coming into Monday Night’s game. But, a closer look at their schedule tells the story. Their three wins have come against the worst teams in football. A Week 1 win at Oakland, a Week 2 win at Tennessee, and a Week 4 win at Kansas City. They were decimated by a skilled Atlanta team in Week 3, and couldn’t handle the 0-4 Saints last week. Denver is 2-3 but has faced a much tougher schedule than the Chargers, and though Peyton Manning has struggled against the Chargers in his career – he’ll be ready Monday Night. It’s no secret Rivers, and Manning can’t stand each other, and this one means a lot more to the Broncos than it does to the Chargers as a loss would drop them to 2-4 on the season. That and the Broncos are simply a better team.
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