The battle for the AFC West cellar happens this week between the 3-8 Denver Broncos and 4-7 Los Angeles Chargers. Denver already has a win over Los Angeles earlier this season, so a season sweep could help them secure a third place finish in the division when all is said and done.
Confidence in the Mile High City is at all-time lows, however, and that is reflected here in our weekly score predictions. Collectively, we see a Broncos 22-21 loss to the Chargers this week, but some of us don’t see it that way. There were a few wins for Denver here in our individual predictions.
Broncos 31, Chargers 16
It seems every time this teams gets to a point where you think they are done, they win a game. That is a trend that I think continued this week. With Drew Lock, I think they get the run game going and a few deep shots down the field, while the defense comes away with a defensive score of its own as the team rolls to its fourth win of the season and a complete sweep of the Chargers. - Tim Lynch
Chargers 29, Broncos 26
29-26 Chargers win, but Denver finally breaks the 25 point for the first time since 2018 versus the Arizona Cardinals. Allen starts the game and sucks in the first half leading to a 17-3 halftime deficit. Drew Lock comes in after the half and leads to the offense to 23 points aided by two Rivers interceptions. With the game tied late and no timeouts the Bronco defense fails yet again to stop a game-winning field goal drive. - Joe Mahoney
Broncos 17, Chargers 13
Philip Rivers freezes up, between bis whiny character, the cold, and they lack of contract negotiations with the Chargers, plus how big the Christmas shopping list he has... I think Lock doesn’t break anything (fingers and toes crossed), runs more than he has his entire career combined, and finds a good gel with the young receiver core. Turnovers will determine the winner. - Casey Barrett
Chargers 30, Broncos 27
With two dangerous pass rushers up front and now two excellent safeties to worry about, this has become a tougher first matchup for Lock than it might have been. But the young gun has some good weapons to lean on and little tape for LAC to work with. I think my predictions have been wrong about the winner almost every single week so far this season, so for the sake of Drew Lock and the Broncos I’ll say the Chargers haul in the W this time. - Taylor Kothe
Chargers 34, Broncos 12
The Broncos will be starting a rookie QB, and the offensive line is still bad. The Chargers have Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, who will be a difficult opponent for Lock. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few turnovers from Lock, giving the Chargers good field position. - Adam Malnati
Chargers 15, Broncos 9
The most important aspect of this game has already happened — the Broncos unlocked Drew. By picking the Lock, Denver begins the process of figuring out what it has in the rookie quarterback. Whether it leads to success on the field or changes anything, time will tell, though my expectations aren’t crazy. At the very least, there’s some excitement again. Both the Chargers and Broncos have defenses that will make it tough for either offense to get touchdowns, but LA gets a skosh more. - Ian St. Clair
Broncos 23, Chargers 16
Fans will create an electric atmosphere as they hope Lock is their franchise QB. Not expecting an amazing statistical day from Lock, but looking for approximately 25 attempts with at least 1 TD and a turnover. Defense will beat up a battered Phillip Rivers logging a pick 6. Chris Harris Jr. gets after Allen after “jockstrap,” comments made earlier this year. - Luke Patterson