The Chargers finally fired Brandon Staley and also moved on from general manager Tom Telesco. So how do fans feel about the changes?
DraftKings Sportsbook likes Denver’s chances on New Year’s Eve, even with the benching of Russell Wilson. The Broncos are slight favorites over LA on Sunday. The total sits at 37. Despite the fact the over has the last two games, the under seems the safe bet on Sunday.
To preview Sunday’s game at Mile High we go behind enemy lines to get a feel for the Chargers with Michael Peterson from Bolts from the Blue. For those interested, here are my answers to their 5 questions.
MHR: How are Chargers fans feeling now that changes have finally been made at coach and GM?
Michael: I would say that the majority of the Chargers fan base was incredibly relieved to finally see the franchise make the commitment to a much-needed change. No matter how much you like Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco as people, it simply was not working and the Chargers essentially couldn’t remain inactive after the showing against the Raiders. There’s a sense of refreshment and hope in the air that finally, this time, the Chargers will end up making the right move to push the Chargers into a new place far from the mediocrity and underperformance that has plagued most of the past decade. The Chargers simply cannot waste another promising quarterback’s tenure with the team and the hope is that the next HC/GM pairing will do everything — and I mean everything — in their power to maximize Justin Herbert and the team’s success in the immediate future.
MHR: Who do you want to be the next head coach in LA? And who do you think the franchise will hire?
Michael: If I had to pick someone, I’d say Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. The guy has won everywhere he has been and one of the most common themes across all of his teams is physicality. Whether it was at Stanford, the 49ers, or Michigan, all of his teams knew how to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. That’s an aspect that has been missing from the Chargers franchise since the days of Lorenzo Neal lead-blocking for LaDainian Tomlinson. Now as far as who I think they will hire, I would also say Jim Harbaugh pending a potential acceptance of the latest offer given out by Michigan. From what I’ve personally heard, Harbaugh is tired of the college limitations and he’s ready to jump back to the NFL. I can see it being very tough for him to pass up the chance to land a franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert for his entire potential tenure.
MHR: What is the thinking for Sunday’s game? Do fans want to win this game? And how do the Chargers do it?
Michael: Fans certainly do not want to win this game. We’ve all settled into the mindset that getting the highest draft pick possible is the best course of action for the franchise as they attempt to stay afloat from irrelevancy in 2024. The news of Russell Wilson’s benching was not seen as positive this week and the potential matchup with Jarrett Stidham is too “winnable” for our liking.
Should the Chargers find a way to beat the Broncos, they’ll do it on the back of the improved play by Easton Stick and the more-cohesive defense under interim head coach Giff Smith. Truly, this team looked like a completely different unit from their game against the Raiders (where they allowed a franchise record 63 points) and their close-call with the Bills. If that same team from last Saturday shows up against the Broncos this week, it’ll be hard not to see them possibly leaving with a win.
MHR: What is your best bet for Sunday’s game at DraftKings Sportsbook? And what are your thoughts on the spread?
Michael: I think the spread is right where it should be. The Chargers love to lose by three or less points so I wouldn’t blink if the result is within that range. As for a best bet, I’ll take a made field goal on the Chargers’ opening drive at +500. Kellen Moore had this team humming on their opening drive against the Bills and I have a feeling he’ll continue to cook this week but fall just short of a touchdown to begin the game once again.
MHR: What are your expectations and predictions for Sunday’s game?
Michael: I expect this game to be similar to last week’s outing against the Bills. The Chargers need to hit the middle ground where they’re competitive and entertaining, but they would benefit from continuing to lose out the rest of the way. I think Stick and Stidham will actually put on respectable performances in what will end up being another competitive chapter of this divisional rivalry. I have the Broncos winning this one 20-17 on a last-second field goal as time expires.