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Chargers vs Broncos preview: Denver looks to close tough 2022 season with a win

The Broncos look to avoid going winless in the division for the first time since 1970.

Chargers Broncos at SoFi Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Denver Broncos will look to avoid more of that bad history.

Over the last seven years, this organization is getting all too accustomed to this.

Next up is trying to fend off going winless in the division for the first time since 1970. It’s so bad for the Broncos right now, they’ve lost nine straight games in the AFC West. Can Denver end this latest bit of suck to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday?

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Broncos as slight +3.5-point underdogs. That number is not surprising at all, especially considering LA is playing for the No. 5 seed in the AFC.

As for the total that sits at 39.5. The over has now hit in four-straight games for the Broncos and now sits at 11-5. The last time these two teams played, they hit the under.

Offensive Rankings

LA Chargers: Ninth in overall offense (359.8 yards per game), 30h in rushing (91.6), fourth in passing (268.2), 13th in scoring offense (22.7 points per game).

Denver: Twenty-fourth in overall offense (316.0 yards per game), 22nd in rushing (108.1), 19th in passing (207.9), 32nd in scoring offense (16.0 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

LA Chargers: Ninteenth in overall defense (338.3 yards per game), 27th in rushing defense (142.1), sixth in passing defense (196.3), tied for 18th in scoring defense (22.1 points per game).

Denver: Sixth in overall defense (318.0 yards per game), 12th in rushing defense (112.9), 11th in passing defense (205.1), 10th in scoring defense (20.7 points per game).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.

Control the line of scrimmage

Based on the play of Denver’s offensive line, this is probably asking way too much. So it falls on the Broncos defense. As with any great quarterback, the best remedy is pressure. However, that needs to be smart pressure since Herbert is also athletic and mobile. So interior pressure is paramount, but also ensuring the edges “hold their water” and don’t move beyond Herbert in the pocket. With the talent of the Chargers receivers and how phenomenal Austin Ekler is, Denver needs to get consistent pressure on Herbert and hit him early and often. — Ian St. Clair

Keep Russ moving

The offensive game plan against the Chiefs wasn’t bad. It actually looked like one that suited Wilson’s style. Don’t spend the game treating him like Justin Fields or Lamar Jackson, but feel free to get him out of the pocket. It opens up the passing attack, and will give him more time to throw. — Adam Malnati

Stack the box

We know that the Broncos run defense has been bad, and Austin Ekeler might make them look worse than Josh Jacobs did a handful of weeks ago. The defensive secondary is good enough to have a shot at holding back the pass game in man coverage.Maybe they can avoid going winless in the division this year. The Chargers are really the only AFC West team Denver has had any success against recently. — Ross Allen

Listen to Rosburg

He has a plan and it’s worked better than anything so far this season. — Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

What are your keys to Sunday’s game?