TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 6: Denver Broncos At San Diego Chargers

Broncos
Chargers
Quarterback
Winner Peyton Manning is coming off a sensational statistical game, completing 31-of-44 passes for 345 yards with 3 TDs and no interceptions against the Patriots. His numbers indicate that he is on top of his game, although some of his throws appear to lack the zip he once had on the ball.
Philip Rivers continues to be a solid leader for the Chargers. While his team was unable to sustain a 10-point lead on the road against the previously winless Saints, Rivers excels at spotting his opponent’s weakness and exploiting it. Rivers has an awkward throwing motion, but he puts the ball on the money most of the time.
Offense
Winner The Broncos are not going to dazzle you with talent at the skill positions. While Demaryius Thomas has gamebreaking speed and will make occasional big plays, he can’t always get open or hold on to the ball. Eric Decker is a dependable third-down receiver. Willis McGahee is a solid runner who lacks breakaway ability.
Winner The Chargers have two decent running backs in Ryan Matthews and Ronnie Brown. The receiving crew depends on former Saint Robert Meachem, who has good hands and knows how to get open. Malcolm Floyd can make the big play downfield. Tight end Antonio Gates is a good-but-not-great player at this point.
Defense
The Broncos are a hard-hitting defense, but they have not been as effective as they were last year. The Broncos got pierced by the Patriots’ running games and the coverage was lax on several of their receivers. Linebacker Von Miller has plenty of speed and is a big factor on the pass rush.
Winner The Chargers gave up a late touchdown in the third quarter and two more in the fourth quarter. That’s troubling to head coach Norv Turner because it indicates the San Diego defense is not accountable in late-game situations. Cornerback Quentin Jammer is still one of the best players at his position, registering 6 tackles and an interception against the Saints.
Special Teams
Winner The Broncos are happy with Matt Prater’s kicking. He has hit 7-of-7 FG attempts to this point in the season and he has the power to hit 50-plus yard kicks. Britton Colquitt has a good leg and can drop his punts inside the opponent’s 20 with regularity.
The Chargers are at a bit of a disadvantage with Nick Novak filling in for Nate Kaeding at the placekicker position. Novak lacks the big-time leg strength to hit the long field goals. Eddie Royal would love to hurt his old team by hitting a long return against them.

The Winner Is

Winner Broncos
3 out of 4

The Broncos are battling hard and they often seem to start fighting in the second half. If Manning can get the attack going a bit earlier, they may be able to hand the Chargers a home defeat. The San Diego defense showed some weakness against the Saints and the Broncos will try to follow up on that.

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