Week Ten: San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos
Location: Denver Colorado, Invesco Field At Mile High
Kick-off time: 8:15 pm EST
The Broncos and Chargers renew acquaintences for the first time in 2006 tonite with 1st place in the AFC West on the line. Both teams are 7-2 and feature the top socring team offensively(Chargers) against the defense allowing the fewest points per game(Denver)
GAME DAY NOTES:
*--The Broncos have gon 17-2 against the Chargers at home since 1987, and have won the last 6 in a row
*--The Broncos have won their last 5 divisional games, averaging 6.4 points against in those 5 games.
*--The Broncos are 17-12 all time on Sunday Night, 11-6 under Shanny, but are 2-0 this season on Sunday Night
*--The Broncos now own the best home record in the NFL since 2001, the year they moved into Invesco Field((34-10)
*--The Broncos have held LaDanian Tomlinson to only 52 yards per game in his 5 visits to Denver
*--Last Regular Season Meeting -- 23-7, Dec 31, 2005 -- WIN
Official Gameday Press Release
RB Tatum Bell
TE Tony Scheffler
RB Cedric Cobbs
WR Quincy Morgan
KR Brian Clark
DE Patrick Chukwurah
OL Chris Kuper
DL Antwon Burton
Most weeks there are some surprises on the Inactive list for Mike Shanahan and this week is no different. Who is going to return kicks, with Quincy Morgan and Brian Clark inactive tonite. Patrick Chukwurah also is inactive, along with Tatum Bell who needs to rest and just get better. Damian Nash and Mike Bell will be toting the rock for the offense tonite, and the Broncos are going to need that running game to establish the flow of the game. It is nice to see Ian Gold and Ebenezar Ekuban back in the starting lineup tonite.
*--Ahh yes, back in primetime for the 4th time this season, and Pink welcomes us into the action. Sorry NBC, but Pink is no Hank Williams Jr. Anyway, the Broncos are back with the Blue on Blue look which served them well earlier this season
*--As I stated in my preview I've got the Broncos winning this one 27-20. The key will be getting off to a quick start, getting a lead early, and forcing the Chargers to be one-deimensional
*--Battle of wills right from the start, with the best scoring offense getting that ball first, going against the best scoring defense
*--Chargers looking to get L.T. started early, and two runs have netted 9 yards, tooped off by a 2 yard first down by Neal
*--A 3rd rush for L.T., and a face mask to boot. Madden is right, L.T. looks like a man on a mission
*--An off-side penalty is going to give San Diego new life and a third and short. A big penalty negates a good defensive stop
*--The Chargers make the most of the opportunity, and another Broncos' penalty. Not a great start for the Denver defense
*--Quickly, 5 minutes is gone in the first quarter
*--Gold crushes Rivers on a big third down, and a 6 minute drive ends in a punt, and ANOTHER DRIVE THAT STARTS INSIDE THE 10!!!
*--Broncos start with a 5 yard carry, then an incompletion...good thing, because Walker would have been crushed. The three and out is complete, and after the Chargers had the ball for 6 minutes, the Broncos have the ball for at 45 seconds, not a good mix
*--Typical Bronco game so far, with the home team losing the battle of field position
*--The defense gets it right back, with a tipped ball interception for Nick Ferguson, and the Broncos get position right back
*--3-1 pass to run ratio, with 3 incompletions, so much for ball control
*--Another 3 and out, and the Broncos will have to punt again
*--Great job by Curome Cox to down the ball at the one, and now it's the Broncos that have the field position
*--So much for field position, as the Chargers quickly have moved the ball accross mid-field. Of the Broncos offense think that 10 points is going to do it tonite, they are wrong...
*--Now Tomlinson gets off, and the defense has been on the field a long time in this first quarter already
*--Broncos defense needs to toughen up and force a field goal try, though SD is pretty good in the Red Zone
*--Darrent Williams still getting burned on a regular basis, and this time it isn't Reggie Wayne
*--The Broncos get nothing from the offense, and the defense is on the field for 12 minutes in the 1st quarter...The result? A 7-0 deficit
*--The sloppy play continues with a penalty on the return, and the Broncos will start inside the 10 AGAIN!!!
*--An off-side penalty and 8 yard run ends the 1st quarter, and an overall disaster for the Broncos, though the score would indicate otherwise
*--END OF THE FIRST QUARTER -- CHARGERS 7 - BRONCOS 0
SECOND QUARTER --
*--After getting a first down running the ball, the Broncos pass twice, a sack and a drop, the passing game just isn't getting it done
*--The screen pass should slow down the pass rush, and gets the offense a big first down
*--Then it's Damian Nash on the big run, and now the Broncos offense starts to get going
*--Finally the answer about the specs that Shanny has been wearing, drug store specials, and Shanny finally sees the light, running three times for a first down inside the 35
*--First catch by Walker turns into another 1st down, and the Broncos enter the Red Zone
*--Mike Bell walks into the end zone, and a drive that looked like a good ole' fashion Denver Broncos drive ties the score at 7! TOUCHDOWN BRONCOS -- BRONCOS 7 - CHARGERS 7
*--Third down pass falls incomplete, but you have to be impressed with Rivers...That pass was right on the mark, but a good defensive play by Bailey.
*--Third drive of the game the Broncos will start from the 15 or worse
*--Broncos go three and out as well, with two deep balls for Walker getting over-thrown
*--Ernster's troubles continue, and the Chargers have great field position
*--Is there a play that #27 isn't 3 yards behind the inteded receiver....
*--Broncos defense stiffens again, and the effect Ian GOld has on the defense brought to the for-front again. Needless to say, another drive starts inside the 15
*--After a big play by Marshall, Nash picks up 15 yards on the screen, and the Broncos offense really moving now. I'll tell you what, I can see what Shanny liked in Nash. He really runs hard!
*--Another huge run by Nash, followed by another, and a Denver 1st down. Another Charger injury, and they are dropping like flies right now. The Broncos get the ball to start the 2nd half, so a TD right here would be huge!
*--Mike Bell gets the ball this time, and how many of you out there think this looks like 1997 Denver Broncos football
*--And Mike Bell finishes it off with his second rushing TD and the Broncos take the lead! TOUCHDOWN BRONCOS -- BRONCOS 14 - CHARGERS 7
*--Defense has had a chance to rest up, and looks faster this drive, getting their first sack of the game. Welcome back Ebenzar Ekuban!!
*--HALFTIME - BRONCOS 14 - CHARGERS 7
*--The Broncos are off to the a great start with a huge kick off return for Sapp give the Broncos the ball at mid-field. Any points here would go a long way to getting this win!
*--A Rod Smith sighting nets the Broncos a big third down conversion, and the dirve continues...
*--Another third down for the Broncos, and this time the Broncos can't convert and out comes Jason Elam to try and make it a 2-score game, and he does! BRONCOS 17 - 7
*--Chargers trying to get the ball to Antonio Gates, but not with Champ Bailey over there, and the Chargers are faced with a big third down
*--Finally Darrent Williams comes up with a big play, doing it Pick-6 style on Philip Rivers, and the Broncos are pulling away -- TOUCHDOWN BRONCOS -- BRONCOS 24 - CHARGERS 7
*--Michael Turner give the Chargers decent field position in a must score drive for the Chargers
*--The Chargers head right back down the field, and again, Rivers is impressive bouncing back after the pick-6
*--And boy was that a bit too easy. Tomlinson becomes the fastest ever to 100 TD's, but 4 games. Touchdown Chargers -- BRONCOS 24 - CHARGERS 14
*--Nearly a pick on the first play, as the double fake doesn't fake anyone, and Rod Smith couldn't come up with a jump ball...That is followed up with a botched screen, and instead of trying to run the ball with a 10 point lead the Broncos throw twice, and are forced into a third and long
*--Nearly picked off again, the Broncos forced to go 3 and out allowing the Chargers offense to get right back on the field. The Denver D will be forced to come up big again
*--Way too easy again, and the Broncos get burned by L.T. AGAIN. Touchdown Chargers. Just like that they are down only 3! BRONCOS 24 - CHARGER 21
*--Watching that replay made me throw up in my mouth. Covering L.T. with Ekuban...We may want to review that coverage...
*--Now the offesne will need to carry the defense a bit, and we knew that time would come. Chew up some clock and get some points!
*--After trying to throw during the last 3 and out, the Broncos come out with 3 straight runs and 19 yards, what a thought!
*--Jake's hard count draws the off-sides and a free 1st down
*--Six straight runs now, and a playaction fake may be in order
*--There it is, only for a short gain, and a third and short upcoming. An up and down 3rd quarter comes to an end, and an exciting 4t awaits!
*--END OF THE THIRD QUARTER -- BRONCOS 24 - CHARGERS 21
*--A huge 4th down, and no doubt Shanny will go for it, knowing his offense needs to get a yard, and they do, barely, but a first down none the less
*--Rod Smith, still one of the best in the league blocking as a receiver
*--What a catch by Javon Walker, going under Jammer and making the catch
*--Marty challenges, and at this point of the game it is probably a good challenge. It's close, though every shot I have seen so far looks good
*--Walker actually got 7 steps in bounds, and the call stands
*--No one ran the QB draw better than John Elway, and Jake Plummer is no John Elway. Another big third down, and 7 looks alot better than 3
*--I have been watching Walker and Jammer, and Jammer is giving Javon way too much space. A quick out, or WR screen would be a great call here, allowing Walker to make a guy miss...
*--And Jake drops the snap, blowing a great opportunity. Another huge mistake for Plummer and the Broncos will settle for a field goal. BRONCOS 27 - CHARGERS 21
*--Chargers to get the ball back, plenty of time to go. At lease another possession for both teams. I know I speak the obvious, but the Broncos need to find a way to slow L.T. down
*--Broncos' Special Teams rear thier ugly head again, allowing Turner to get the ball back to the 45...Not Good
*--Tomlinson in a great rhythem now and the Chargers are eating up huge chunks of yards...
*--Like the Colts, and the Steelers, the CHargers now moving the ball right down the field...
*--Easy conversion for the Chargers and they can take the lead with a TD on this 1st and goal. Good teams have scalped this defense this year...
*--A great catch by Vincent Jackson, and an even better throw. The Chargers have come all the way back, and now lead it. CHARGERS 28 - BRONCOS 27
*--Unlike the Ernster, Scifres kicks the ball 9 yards deep and the Broncos will have to start from the 20. A punter/placekicker has to be a priority for this team in the off-season
*--This drive needs to accomplish two things...Score, of course, and leave no time on the clock!
*--The Broncos get the all-important initial first down, and the Broncos get 4 more downs, and there is no doubt that this will be the last possession for the Broncos
*--Maybe a bit too conservative, and it nearly costs the Broncos a lot. 2nd and long and the Broncos will have to throw now
*--Screen gets alot of it back, and the Broncos are faced with a 3rd and short 4
*--And Jake has Marshall, but Jake over throws him, and looking at a 4th and 4 the Broncos will have to go for it. If there was any doubt, it's gone now with the timeout call
*--The Broncos will go for it, and I'm looking for a bootleg option, either keep it or throw for the first
*--And that's the ball game. The Broncos blow a huge lead, at home, against a division rival. The worst loss possible
*--A horrible play call, forcing Plummer to take the snap from under center, and really having no where to go with the ball. Not on bootleg tonite....
*--San Diego has outplayed the Broncos in this 2nd half, no doubt about it
*--The Broncos should let the Chargers score a TD, keeping the game at 8.
*--Supporting Jake Plummer, as he is outplayed by quarterbacks with a fraction of his experience is getting old. AA 3rd down fumbled snsp, then the pick, there is no doubt in my mind this team will not succedd in the playoffs with #16 at quarterback
*--Smart play by the Chargers, just kneeling down, keeping he clock moving. Crushing defeat, but to a better team, no doubt about it
*--Sorry Bronco Fans, but enough about this defense. 4 TD's for L.T., 28 points after half time, again.
*--Now the Broncos have totally lost their composure. After teh Pick 6 everything has come apart
*--Special Teams have killed this team, and that's what happens when you have a FULLBACK returning kicks.
*--Plummer has Smith wide open, and misses him. Just another bad pass on another bad night for Plummer
*--All hell is breaking loose, and the Broncos are getting a gift from teh Chargers now...What the Hell is going on?!?!
*--And the game ends on another fumble by Jake Plummer. Once again, Jake cannot even get the ball in the air. This game epitomizes Jake Plummer. He is outplayed by Philip Rivers, and the Broncos lose, at home, again. It doesn't get any easier, with the Broncos going to K.C. on a short week after blowing a 17 point second half lead...
*--FINAL SCORE - SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 35 - DENVER BRONCOS 27