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Ultimate Fan: No way Broncos lose this final game

For our final regular season Ultimate Fan Guide, Mile High Report's resident Marine is here to tell us why the Broncos-Chargers game will be the most lopsided yet (in the Broncos' favor, of course!)

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the final Ultimate Fan Guide of the regular season! (but thanks to our Broncos, we have a few more weeks of the UFG - yay!) Last week's ultimate fan - draco1986 - predicted only touchdowns, and he was close as the Broncos finally scored points in the second half, getting two TDs and two field goals against the Bengals to win 20-17 and secure a playoff spot.

But this week's ultimate fan, USMCBroncofan, is looking forward to that only-TD game happening this Sunday against a Chargers team that may need some third-stringers from the Broncos' bench to fill out a starting roster.

Quest to take the AFC West: Denver v. San Diego

MHR - The MNF game against the Bengals proved we can play a good second half too. But we still haven't played really well for a full game. Is San Diego the team to help us do this?
USMCBroncofan: I think so. San Diego is a walking infirmary right now.It looks like their two best defensive backs are out, so I could see us easily putting together four solid quarters of football. SD still has some weapons and you can never count Philip Rivers out. I just don't think there is enough left on that team to put up much of a fight.

MHR - Brock Osweiler is looking good and showing improvement every week. What big improvements do you hope to see this weekend against San Diego?
USMCBroncofan: I would like to see him be a bit more accurate on the deep ball. He has shown at times he can make every other throw, but a good in-stride deep ball seems to elude him. That will come with experience, and this game could be a good one for him to take some shots down the field.

MHR - San Diego is abysmal this season and this last game is at Mile High. Is there any way this Chargers team gets on fire and beats the Broncos?
USMCBroncofan: I think Rivers will try and come in hot and win this game on sheer force of will. With how they treated Eric Weddle (fining him for watching his daughter at halftime and then placing him on IR), I am not sure the locker room still supports the coaches. Rivers is always dangerous, but he can't do it all himself.

MHR - How would you grade the state of our running game at this point? Is one running back much better than the other in your opinion, or is the "two No. 1's" approach still a good idea as we look to the postseason?
USMCBroncofan: I would give the running game a C grade over all. C.J. Anderson is a beast with great vision and burst. It usually takes more than one person to bring him down. His biggest flaw is that he has issues staying healthy.

Ronnie Hillman is fast with an amazing burst, but his vision is severely lacking. I constantly see him missing cutback lanes because he tries to force everything outside. He has the speed for it, but it seems if a defender even brushes him, he goes down. Juwan Thompson is a big unknown. When he comes in, there are flashes of him being really good, he just seems to always come up hurt too often.

A healthy C.J. is the best running back on the roster. If he could stay injury-free, I feel he could be one of the best in the league. I do like the two-back approach because it helps keep both backs fresh. I think the Broncos have kept C.J. on a limited snap count just to keep him healthy going into the playoffs.

MHR - Demaryius Thomas has had a rough year but has still compiled some good stats. How would you grade him as we near the end of the season, and what are your expectations of him for the postseason?
USMCBroncofan: DT baffles the hell out of me. He will go out, make a one-armed catch while being pulled down by the a defender, and make it look routine; yet will drop a pass with nothing around him but air. I think he is having focus issues. The circus catches require less time to think. They are more of a reactionary play and instinct kicks in. With the more routine type, I feel he is thinking too much about what he is going to do after the catch and that causes him to lose concentration. He just needs to focus on the catch, and the YAC will take care of themselves.

MHR - What offensive stat would you like to see be awesome for the Broncos in this game?
USMCBroncofan: I want to see balance. An even call between pass and run. I don't care about blowouts or huge numbers - just a solid game of football where we score at least one more than the bad guys.

MHR - Which player do you expect to stand out for the Broncos offense this Sunday?
USMCBroncofan: I see Bennie Fowler having a break out game. With DT being limited now with a hamstring, this could be the game Bennie takes over.

MHR - If there's a quarterback who could spoil the Broncos' first-round bye, it's Rivers. With Brandon Marshall potentially out and T.J. Ward still limited, what is the danger Rivers gets the best of this defense?
USMCBroncofan: The only way I see PR doing any real damage to this defense is if they decide to take the game off. He is a dangerous QB but he really doesn't have the weapon to challenge this defense. He went 18/35 202 yards 0/1 last game. Gates is about his only real weapon, and we held him to 6 receptions for 50 yards. I am just not sure how much heart SD has left. As far as Marshall possibly being out, I think Todd Davis can fill in for him enough that there won't be a tremendous drop off in performance.

MHR - How good is it for the Broncos to have DeMarcus Ware unlimited in his play this weekend?
USMCBroncofan: Getting Ware back will be huge, but I think T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart are the bigger issues. With David Bruton on IR now, that leaves us very thin in safeties. If there are any weaknesses on this defense this week, it is at safety. I think our corners can cover up for them some, but if anyone can pick apart weak safeties, it is Rivers.

MHR - What defensive stat would you like to see be awesome for the Broncos in this game?
USMCBroncofan: It is all about the pressure. Rivers HATES pressure. He loses his cool and starts to make major mistakes when he gets hit a lot. Besides, who doesn't love seeing his smug pouty face as he is picking himself up off the ground? I am hoping for many new pics and gifs of Rivers after this game.

MHR - Which player do you expect to stand out from the Broncos defense this Sunday?
USMCBroncofan: I think Derek Wolfe is going to be the stand-out guy. The interior of San Diego's OL is probably the weakest area. I can see him getting in Rivers' grill all game long (and then Rivers can complain about Wolfe's cologne instead of Von's).


  • Stats for Osweiler? 250 yards, 2 TDs, 0 picks
  • Number of yards rushing for Broncos? 150 yards, 2 TDs
  • Which receiver gets the most yards? Emmanuel Sanders
  • Number of sacks to Osweiler? 3. He is moving much better around the pocket now and that will limit the sacks.
  • Number of sacks to CryMeA Rivers? 5.  1 for Von, 1 for Ware, 1 for Shaquil Barrett, 2 for Wolfe.
  • Broncos player with the most sacks? Derek Wolfe
  • Broncos player with the most tackles? Danny Trevathan
  • Field goals by McManus? 0 - we score nothing but TDs
  • Number of penalties? 8 for 100 yards
  • Final Score? 28 - 3. I don't think Gary Kubiak is going to push the team too hard. He will get the team out to a comfortable lead and do his best to limit injuries.

The Favorites

  • Favorite Broncos loss? I hate all losses, but I would have to say the Jacksonville loss in 1996. That set us up for the back-to-backs.
  • Favorite Broncos win? Anytime we beat the Faiders.
  • Favorite Broncos season? 2013 Not because of the great offense but because it was the first season I was actually home for the entire season.
  • Favorite Broncos player on the current roster?  Chris Harris, Jr. CHJ could have gotten paid to play just about anywhere but took a discount to stay with the Broncos. And he IS the best corner in the game.
  • Favorite Broncos player of all time? Randy Gradishar. That man loved the game, and he left it on the field every single week. He was also the first autograph I ever got at the Broncos Training Camp in Greeley.
  • Team you hate to lose to the most? Faiders
  • Team you love to beat? Faiders, followed closely by the P*ts
  • Favorite game this season? The New England win. The entire team showed fire and grit.
  • Potential playoff team most worried about playing? P*ts, because they seem to find a shady way to win.
  • Superstitions on game day? Always wear the same color jersey as the team. I put the jersey on exactly an hour before game time. I have an orange and white CHJ and a blue Champ.
  • Favorite Broncos jersey color combo? Blue with the white pants. Those are Super Bowl colors.

How did you become a Broncos fan?

I was born into it. My dad was a hardcore fan, and it was just how I was raised. My oldest daughter is also a hardcore fan, so it will continue.