NFL Wire News

Week 15 Preview: Broncos at Chargers

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Denver Broncos (10-3) at San Diego Chargers (8-5)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver – TV: CBS

*TV announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson

*Keys to the game: Cornerback depth is a known issue for the Chargers, who had no answer for Emmanuel Sanders (three TDs) in the first meeting this season. Committing extra resources to slowing down Sanders and Manning might only prolong the inevitable. Denver is averaging more than five yards per carry in the past three games. San Diego is still in search of its missing pass rush and if the Chargers don’t at least get Manning off his spot on occasion it could be a long day.

The Chargers could change their approach with every Denver score. Fundamentally, the simple plan is run the ball to keep the heat off QB Philip Rivers. But RB Ryan Mathews must rebound from an ankle injury, the offensive line must improve as a whole and the interior line has to withstand blitz looks up the middle.

*Matchup to watch – Broncos DE DeMarcus Ware and LB Von Miller vs. Chargers OTs King Dunlap and D.J. Fluker: Dunlap neutralized Ware in the Week 8 meeting in Denver. But Miller had a sack working against Fluker, who has allowed one sack in six of the last nine games. Denver will try to generate some pressure up the middle to counter Rivers’ habit of marching forward to dodge edge pressure.

*Player spotlight – Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram: He’s coming on strong and has been the team’s top pass rusher down the stretch. How Ingram is used is becoming the biggest key to stopping opposing quarterbacks.

*Fast facts: Chargers coach Mike McCoy previously served as Broncos offensive coordinator. He’s 1-3 against Denver. … Manning is the only player in NFL history with four 35-touchdown seasons.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Broncos get their NFL-record 12th consecutive division road victory by going with the new recipe of running early and launching only as required.

*Our pick: Broncos 28-21


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