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Horse Tracks: San Diego Chargers declined in Denver versus Broncos

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It'll be a cold day in heck when the San Diego chargers sweep the Denver Broncos.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Well how about that? Let's be honest, folks, being a Denver Broncos fan will take years off our lives. At least that's what my buddy told me during Sunday's game, and I believe him. I will never knock a Broncos win, but these slow starts are killing me.

Yes, the Broncos scored a field goal on their first drive of the day. After that, I got that familiar feeling in my gut that the go-for-the-throat mentality wasn't there. There are just times when it's painfully apparent that the offense is opting to play it safe and it's terrifying to watch.

First and foremost, the Broncos offense has got to work on plays and play-calling when they're backed up in their own end zone. In the 4th quarter, it was a miracle that the Broncos didn't succumb to a safety when they chose to run it up the middle for little gain and negative yardage. Were it not for the kindness of the referees, the holding call that was erroneously deemed to have occurred outside of the endzone should have been a safety for the Chargers.

It's not just when the Broncos start drives at their own 2-yardline. When the Broncos are in tough offensive situations, their response is to fold up shop. It happens at halftime, too. Against the Texans last week, the Broncos had an opportunity to drive the field for a fieldgoal and opted, instead, to hit the locker room. Against the Chargers in their first matchup a few weeks ago, interim coach Rick Dennison did the same thing. This week, I don't know what the heck happened. On 4th down, rather than punt the ball away to effectively end the half, the Broncos threw the ball on 4th down giving San Diego ridiculously good field position and time left on the clock.

Last season, the mantra was 'kicking and screaming.' I don't feel that with this offense. This season, it's more like 'fold, hold, andt pray like heck the defense scores.' While it's winning Denver ballgames this year, it's not going to cut it against the Patriots and in the playoffs. Defensive scores need to be the gravy and not the main course. Relying on them to win football games may get you from week to week, but when you need them most, they may not be there like what happened against Atlanta and in San Diego earlier this season.

HORSE TRACKS

Who want recaps?!

With goal-line stand, Broncos D delivers 27-19 win over Chargers | Denver Broncos

San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos: RECAP, score and stats (10/30/16), NFL Week 8 | NJ.com

Five Key Moments: Broncos take down Chargers, 27-19 | Denver Broncos

Broncos take down the Chargers, 27-19, at Mile High | FOX31 Denver

Denver Broncos pick apart Philip Rivers in 27-19 win over San Diego Chargers | FOX Sports

Broncos' 27-19 win over Chargers sets up showdown in Oakland | USA Today

Broncos keep Chargers out of end zone late, win 27-19 | ProFootballTalk

Three Keys Unlocked: Broncos 27, Chargers 19 | Denver Broncos

Broncos' defense frustrates Rivers, Chargers in win - NFL.com

Wade Phillips was carted off the field and taken to the hospital. He was release following the game and appears to be okay.

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips stretchered off after collision | Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos assistant coach Wade Phillips released from hospital after being knocked to ground | ESPN

Dallas Cowboys: Former Cowboys coach Wade Phillips taken off in stretcher after scary hit | SportsDay

Broncos coach Wade Phillips carted off field after being hit by a player | FOX Sports

Melvin Gordon explains how he collided with Broncos coach Wade Phillips | FOX Sports

Wade Phillips released from hospital after collision - NFL.com

Reggie Herring, defense take care of business in Wade Phillips' absence | Denver Broncos

Despite injuries heading into the Sunday's tilt, the Broncos handled their business. Roby, Doss, Nelson, Booker epitomize next-man-up mentality | Denver Broncos

Derek Wolfe is a pretty funny dude. Derek Wolfe says Philip Rivers hasn’t been the same since he said he’d eat his kids | Broncos Wire

...but not as funny as a Broncos cheerleader in a T-Rex costume. A Broncos Cheerleader Nailed Dancing While Dressed As A Giant T-Rex | Uproxx

Unfortunately, there were some injuries on Sunday. Kayvon Webster, Devontae Booker injured in Broncos win | Broncos Wire

The Broncos got the win and all is rosy for another week. Victory speech: Chargers game | Denver Broncos

The Raiders are staggering from one win to another seemingly every week... The Raiders win in OT despite breaking an embarrassing NFL record for penalties - CBSSports.com

After a slow start, the Kansas City Chiefs have put together a three win streak. Kansas City Chiefs defeat Colts, announce themselves as contenders - Kansas City Chiefs Blog- ESPN

Alex Smith on the other hand... Alex Smith clears concussion protocol, returns to game, then suffers concussion - CBSSports.com

Alex Smith's wife on the other hand... Alex Smith's wife defends Chiefs QB, destroys a K.C. weatherman on Twitter - CBSSports.com

Maybe the Chiefs moved too hastily when they traded Knile Davis to the Packers a couple weeks back... Jamaal Charles to have knee checked out by Dr. James Andrews | ProFootballTalk

Needless to say the AFC West is returning to the competitive division I remember from my childhood. The AFC West is clearly the NFL's best | SI.com

Despite the Houston Texans win over Detroit, whispers of discontent over Brock Osweilers' level of play have not been silenced. Houston Texans QB Brock Osweiler's lack of confidence affecting play, sources say | ESPN

Tom Brady and the Patriots crushed the Buffalo Bills. Let's face it, there's only one team the Broncos can count on to beat New England and we all know they play in Denver.

Dominant Brady, Gronk get revenge on Rex's Bills - NFL.com

For Rex Ryan's Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots are already too far gone - 2016 NFL AFC East

There were a whole lot of complainers this week. Lots of whine to go around for everybody.

Richard Sherman of Seattle Seahawks sounds off on 'pretty egregious' officiating in loss to New Orleans Saints | ESPN

Cam Newton doesn't feel safe on the field, plans to talk to Goodell about officiating | FOX Sports

Furious Josh Norman rips into ref after Washington Redskins' tie | ESPN

The Cowboys and their phenom young quarterback pulled one out of the fire in overtime. Tony who? Dak Prescott was awful for 55 minutes, then won game and Cowboys QB job | FOX Sports

Let's all watch as Jerry Jones tap-dances around the reality that his star rookie running back is likely the Cowboys latest wife/girlfriend abuser on the roster. Ezekiel Elliott could face lengthy ban, Jerry Jones spoke with NFL investigator - CBSSports.com

Okay, we can say it. The Atlanta Falcons may be pretty good this year. Matt Ryan rallies Falcons late, outduels Aaron Rodgers in thriller | FOX Sports

Adrian Peterson may be gearing up for a return from IR in just a few weeks. Best guess for Adrian Peterson? A return in December | ProFootballTalk

Two ties in a single year? I love it. NFL games used to end in ties all the time during the league's formative years. Having a tie is a throwback to another time. Plus it throws a wrench into the playoff seedings. It makes me sad that there are those that want to change it. The NFL is at its best when it embraces its quirks.

Most ties in an NFL season: Bengals-Redskins tie record, Twitter makes jokes - CBSSports.com

Dear NFL: We enjoyed the Redskins-Bengals tie and would like more of them | USA Today

The 2016 trade deadline is on Tuesday. Here's the latest trade rumors around the league.

2016 NFL Trade Deadline: Latest on 49ers, Browns, Bears targets - CBSSports.com

Richardson aware of trade rumors, says he doesn’t know what may happen | ProFootballTalk

Joe Thomas "would be surprised" if the Browns trade him | ProFootballTalk

...and here is the first look at the 2016 playoff picture! Go easy on them, guys... They may have Denver's record incorrect on it, but it's their first draft. NFL Playoff Picture - NFL.com