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2017 Broncos opponent preview Weeks 1, 7: Los Angeles Chargers

The Denver Broncos should sweep the Los Angeles Chargers, but anything can happen in division rivalry games.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos kick off their 2017 regular season schedule against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football and then again in Week 7 on the road in Los Angeles.

Aside from their big move from San Diego to Los Angeles, they also have a brand new coaching staff after firing Mike McCoy.

Many analysts expect the Chargers to bounce back to compete for the AFC West. If they can stay healthy, which is something they have not been able to do in two seasons, then it is possible they could claw their way into contention. However, they must win division games to do it. With just one division win in last two seasons, they have work to do and drawing a road game on prime time to start the season is not a good way to start.

All-time series: Broncos lead 64-50-1

2017 Chargers free agency

Key additions: Russell Okung
Key losses: Orlando Franklin and King Dunlap

The Chargers were relatively quiet in free agency this year, with they main free agent addition being former Broncos offensive tackle Russell Okung. They also released both King Dunlap and Orlando Franklin.

The quiet free agency was simply awaiting the bang of an NFL Draft for the Chargers.

2017 Chargers draft results

The 2017 NFL Draft was a major win for the Chargers. They added a big time weapon in the first round in wide receiver Mike Williams out of Clemson, but then landed a couple of steals in the second and third rounds with guards Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney.

This draft class could be what ultimately puts the Chargers back into contention in the coming years, but they’ll still need to find an heir to Philip Rivers as he will be closing in on retirement very soon.

Chargers 2017 Draft Class

Rnd Player Pos. College
Rnd Player Pos. College
1 Mike Williams WR Clemson
2 Forrest Lamp OG Western Kentucky
3 Dan Feeney OG Indiana
4 Rayshawn Jenkins S Miami
5 Desmond King DB Iowa
6 Sam Tevi OT Utah
7 Isaac Rochell DE Notre Dame

Way too early predictions

Week 1: Broncos 24, Chargers 10
Week 7: Broncos 20, Chargers 17

I am not buying into the Chargers hype. Having moved to Los Angeles and playing in a soccer stadium added with a brand new coaching staff, makes me think they are headed for another four-win season.

They have not proven they can stay healthy as a group, which is more indicative of the training personnel than the players. They have some talent, but so do the Broncos.

The Monday Night Football game will be hyped by the Broncos players so much that it may not even be as close as my score prediction, but division games have a tendency to be closer than you’d expect. The Week 7 rematch is where the Chargers could steal a game away from the Broncos in 2017.

Broncos 2017 predictions

Wk Date Opponent Time (MT) Predictions
Wk Date Opponent Time (MT) Predictions
1 Sep 11 vs. Los Angeles Chargers (MNF) 8:20 PM Broncos 24-10
2 Sep 17 vs. Dallas Cowboys 2:25 PM Cowboys 23-21
3 Sep 24 at Buffalo Bills 11:00 AM Broncos 27-10
4 Oct 1 vs. Oakland Raiders 2:25 PM Broncos 28-17
6 Oct 15 vs. New York Giants (SNF) 6:30 PM Broncos 23-16
7 Oct 22 at Los Angeles Chargers 2:25 PM Broncos 20-17
8 Oct 30 at Kansas City Cheifs (MNF) 6:30 PM
9 Nov 5 at Philadelphia Eagles 11:00 AM
10 Nov 12 vs. New England Patriots (SNF) 6:25 PM
11 Nov 19 vs. Cincinnati Bengals 2:25 PM
12 Nov 26 at Oakland Raiders 2:25 PM Raiders 27-20
13 Dec 3 at Miami Dolphins 11:00 AM
14 Dec 10 vs. New York Jets 2:00 PM
15 Dec 14 at Indianapolis Colts (TNF) 6:25 PM
16 Dec 24 at Washington Redskins 11:00 AM
17 Dec 31 vs. Kansas City Chiefs 2:25 PM