There is a bit of quiet confidence in the staff this week as the Denver Broncos prepare to take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. All but two of us think Denver will win this game, but the two negative nellies think it’ll be a blowout win for the Chargers, so our collective score still showed them beating the Broncos, 24-22.
I was honestly expecting mostly negative predictions this week after the crapshow we watched two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Eagles. Maybe Denver might actually win this game. Here is how we see things playing out individually.
Broncos 24, Chargers 23
This game is all about which Pat Shurmur shows up. Will the one who recognizes the Chargers have the worst run defense in the NFL or will the one who think throwing it on first down is a run play show up? I’m worried the latter is the only Pat Shurmur we know, but we’ll see. If the Broncos run the ball more than pass it, they win this game. That is all I am predicting. - Tim Lynch
Chargers 27, Broncos 13
The Broncos have been horribly inconsistent. Each game is as unpredictable as the last, and so making a score prediction is an exercise in futility. I’m going to do it, but have no real confidence in what will happen. Justin Herbert is becoming a stud right before our collectively terrified eyes. Still, the Chargers have the same issues with inconsistencies that plague their team. In this scenario, I think it’s gonna be a long day for the Broncos dealing with the Chargers weapons on offense. On the flip side, the offensive play calling for Denver is consistently bad, so it’s hard to pick a win here for the Broncos. - Adam Malnati
Broncos 27, Chargers 20
I ate too much pie and drank some alcohol so I’m saying Javonte goes wild, Vic Fangio annoys fans and puts the fire out slightly on his seat and someone kidnaps Pat Shurmur. - Scotty Payne
Broncos 24, Chargers 21
This is a must-win game if the Broncos want to remain in playoff contention, and fortunately their opponent’s weaknesses are so plain to see it’ll be inexcusable to blow the opportunity. I expect Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams to run wild as Shurmur pounds the rock, which should set up some play action shots to the tight ends and Courtland Sutton. To slow down Justin Herbert, Fangio will run a ton of games at Storm Norton and Michael Schofield while playing back with his coverage, which forces the Bolts to march the length of the field. - Joe Rowles
Broncos 27, Chargers 24
I hate giving predictions, but I think (well, I hope) the Broncos are reeling from their stupid loss to the Eagles and want to get out in front of the Mile High crowd and prove they can play good football. That - and I can’t believe I’m about to say this - but with Pat Shurmur back, the offense will hopefully use Jeudy, Sutton and Patrick to Bridgewater’s advantage to move the ball downfield, while also letting Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon run right through the Chargers’ 32nd-ranked run defense. Broncos win, 27-24. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
Chargers 31, Broncos 17
I have no idea which Broncos team will show up. Thus, that makes a prediction even harder. Everyone knows the key to success for the Broncos on offense, does the guy calling the plays? The difference in the game is Austin Ekler and Herbert. - Ian St. Clair