We've already talked about the best and worst games that the Broncos have played against San Diego. So, I thought we'd take a slightly different look at this divisional rivalry. While Denver holds a 58-49-1 edge in the series with the Chargers, it has a "not-so-good" record of 22-32 when playing in San Diego. That said, the Broncos have won the last three games they have played on the Chargers home turf:
|2013||10||Den 28, SD 20|
|2012||6||Den 35, SD 24|
|2011||12||Den 16, SD 13 (OT)|
In point of fact, Denver has not lost in San Diego since John Fox took over as the Broncos' head coach. In his three seasons at the helm, Denver has won the season series with the Chargers once (2012) and split the series twice (2011, 2013).
This prompted me to wonder how the Broncos have fared in San Diego since John Elway became Denver's quarterback. This takes us back quite a number of years and through the tenures of four head coaches (we have already mentioned Fox's record). Working backwards we find the following facts.
Remember the L.A. Chargers?
With renewed talk surrounding one or two teams' possible relocations to Los Angeles and with it being Chargers week, why not look back at our division rival's first year in operation? Ladies and gentlemen, the Los Angeles Chargers of 1960.
Fox took over the reins after Josh McDaniels was fired and Eric Studesville finished out McDaniels' term. Running the McDaniels system for two seasons (2009, 2010), the Broncos split the two games in San Diego. They won 34-23 on the Chargers' home field in 2009 but lost 35-14 the following season. During McDaniels' tenure, the Broncos split the season series once (2009) and lost both games in 2010. Not a good showing for our favorite team.
McDaniels had taken over following the firing of Mike Shanahan. Shanahan was at the helm from 1995 to 2008. During that time, the Broncos posted a record of 6-8 when playing in San Diego. In point of fact, they lost four of their last five and six of their last eight games in San Diego under Shanahan. Under Shanahan, Denver won the season series five times (1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005), split the season series seven times (1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008) and lost both games in the series twice (2006, 2007).
Shanahan had taken over following the short head coaching tenure of Wade Phillips. Denver went 1-1 in San Diego during Phillips two seasons at the helm and split the season series both seasons.
Elway came into the league when Dan Reeves was the Broncos' head coach. He played for Reeves from 1983 to 1992. During that time, Denver went 5-5 in games played in San Diego. The Broncos won the season series with the Chargers four times under the Reeves/Elway leadership and split the series the other six seasons.
Broncos fans should be able to take some comfort this week in the fact that the Fox-led Broncos have never lost when playing the Chargers in San Diego. With a chance to clinch the division with a win, the Broncos should come ready to play and play hard.
Overall, since 1983, when John Elway became quarterback, the Broncos are 16-15 on San Diego's turf. Not as bad as that 22-32 overall record would suggest.
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