First Look: San Diego Chargers

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It's November, but it's only the second division game of the year for the 7-1 Denver Broncos as they face the 4-4 San Diego Chargers.

San Diego Chargers


Record: 4-4
Streak: Lost 1
All-time vs. Denver: 48-57-1
Last time: Chargers 23 at Broncos 30 (11/18/12)
The Line: Broncos by 7

A year ago, when the San Diego Chargers hosted the Denver Broncos, Philip Rivers and company got off to a 24-0 lead at halftime. San Diego was two quarters of football away from moving to 4-2 while sending Denver to a 2-4 record - such a change to the start of the season might have rippled across the entire year. Instead, the Broncos roared back with 35 unanswered points, taking control of the division and never looking back. What sort of drama will this divisional bout entail this year? Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PST on Sunday November 10th.

Who's hot

QB Philip Rivers. The SB Nation network recently asked all of its NFL constituents to participate in a midseason awards post by sending one vote per blog. Peyton Manning was nearly the unanimous MVP choice, but one blog, Bolts from the Blue, chose Philip Rivers instead. Rather than just "homering" out, lead blogger John Gennaro defended his pick by pointing out that Rivers was missing both of his starting wide receivers, yet still led the NFL in PFF's "accuracy percentage." The stat accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the quarterback was hit while they threw the ball - factors that hurt the quarterback's completion percentage but don't help show how accurate they are. Rivers is far and away the best, so before you go dismissing the Chargers, remember that if it wasn't for Peyton Manning's insane year, Rivers might be the guy everyone is talking about.

Who's not

Chargers secondary. A week after getting held to 154 passing yards by the Broncos, the Redskins had a relative field day against the Chargers, amassing 291 yards in the air, one touchdown and no interceptions. Pierre Garcon went particularly wild to the tune of 172 yards. The Chargers didn't have an answer for Garcon, and even benched CB Derek Cox in the third quarter after Garcon repeatedly got the better of him.

Matchup to Watch

WR Keenan Allen vs. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and CB Chris Harris. Keenan Allen is having a phenomenal rookie season, and it only seems to be getting better every week. His 128-yard, 1 TD performance in Week 9 against the Redskins would have been even better had he not gotten unfairly flagged for OPI. Broncos cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Chris Harris Jr. are each coming off a strong game where both performed well individually, and collectively they shut down Redskins receivers. Doing the same to Keenan Allen will be Step One in beating the Chargers this week.

Stick around Mile High Report all week long for Film Studies, statistical analyses, and many more in-depth looks at Denver's Week 10 opponent, the San Diego Chargers!

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