A Culmination to a Collapse

The San Diego Chargers had become known for their second half surges. Well all of those good adjectives like most talented team, second half team, and franchise quarterback can now be thrown right out the window. The Chargers are one of the most poorly coached teams, because Norv Turner is still the head coach for unknown reasons. And Philip Rivers is no longer a franchise quarterback, in fact he has become a liability.

The Chargers are not completely dead yet, but a loss today would all but end their season. After that Monday Night disaster against the Broncos, the wheels have completely come off on this team, and they have floundered ever since. The Chargers and Philip Rivers have had a lot of success in Denver over the years, but all of that has changed. They will need a virtuoso performance this afternoon to steal a win and even out their record at 5-5.

Keys to the Game: The Chargers are going to need to get on the board early and keep pressure on the Broncos throughout the game. If they fall behind, the Chargers are liable to fold, like they have done all season. San Diego has been in such a lull the past few weeks that it seems unthinkable that they could jump out to a fast start, but that is what they will need to do to wake up.

Create some turnovers. In the previous game between these two teams, the Chargers were able to take advantage of some early mistakes by the Broncos. This led to some early points, but they were unable to produce anything after that with turnovers of their own and sloppy special teams play.

Ryan Matthews needs to have a great performance. Matthews is as talented as just about anyone at the running back position, but he has had trouble staying healthy and has a penchant for fumbling the ball. He will need to have over a 100 yards rushing on the day with a score or two for San Diego to pull this one out.

Injuries: The Chargers have suffered many injuries throughout this season. Unfortunately those injuries continue to occur, starting with left tackle Jared Gaither who has missed quite a few games this season and is doubtful for the game this afternoon. Defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin has been ruled out, but Ryan Matthews who missed some practice due to a neck injury, practiced Friday and is listed as questionable. If the Chargers have any intentions of winning this game, Matthews will be playing.

The Denver Broncos have been fortunate all season with the lack of injuries they’ve had to sustain. This week they will be without cornerback Tracy Porter and possibly guard Chris Kuper as well. Elvis Dumervil is questionable, but I would expect him to play in a division game like this one.

Final Analysis: Unless something unforeseen happens, the Chargers have snowball’s chance in hell in this game. The Broncos will repay San Diego for the torment they have suffered at the hands of the Chargers over the past five years. Denver 32 San Diego 20.

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