1) Broncos fans are kinda scratching our heads about San Diego this year. What's going on with the Chargers that has them in the basement of the AFC West?
A number of things! The coaching staff is horrendous, the medical/training staff might be worse, the veteran leadership is mostly on its way out the door, and Los Angeles is hanging over the team and fanbase like a smog cloud that won't go away.
This team had talent, but those talented players seem to either be lacking in motivation, discipline, direction or health. Many of them have simply quit on this coaching staff.
2) Philip Rivers was signed to a 4-year extension this year. What do you think of this move at this point of the season?
Still a great move. Keeps Rivers with the Chargers for his entire career, and he's still one of the 5-10 best QBs in the league. Even with a terrible team around him and a terrible offensive coaching staff, Rivers has somehow still been very good.
3) Your offense still has a great QB and some weapons, but your defense leaves much to be desired. What will your defense be able to do well against the Broncos and what areas worry you?
I have no idea how to answer this question. I really don't. I've probably watched more Chargers film this season than anyone that isn't a player or coach for the San Diego Chargers, and I can't explain this defense to you.
Sometimes it can slow down running attacks, but I'm not sure how it happens (except that Denzel Perryman taking Donald Butler's starting spot has helped a great deal). Sometimes they get run over easily. Sometimes those two things happen in the same game.
Sometimes they are helpless to stop opposing teams from throwing at will, without a decent secondary or a pass rush, and sometimes opposing teams go through long stretches without being able to complete a pass longer than two yards.
There's no real rhyme or reason to it, nor any consistency except to say that they're bad enough for a long enough period of time in just about every single game they play to put themselves in a position to lose. The lone exception being against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
4) Tell us about a couple of players we may not know about who are playing really well and what impact they are having.
Much like Philip Rivers on the offensive side, Jason Verrett has been consistently very good as the team's No.1 CB. Similarly, Patrick Robinson has been a solid nickel CB. However, the guy worth mentioning here is probably Denzel Perryman. The rookie LB has fought his way up the depth chart past the well-paid Donald Butler to take over the starting spot next to Manti Te'o and looks to be a stud.
As someone put it to me recently, "Every time you see a big hit from a Chargers player, you don't even have to check the number. You know it's Perryman." His play has forced offenses to focus more on him, which has allowed Manti Te'o a little more space to play in (leading to an interception last week). Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to help the pass rush.
5) In this David vs Goliath matchup, what are your keys to the Chargers coming away with an upset victory and what's your prediction?
The line of this game, which was at +4 for the Chargers earlier this week, tells me that Las Vegas is afraid of a divisional matchup and afraid of Brock Osweiler. Every young QB has at least one game where they implode and lose the game on their own, right? So, there's a chance of that happening, and that's about the only chance the Chargers have in this one.