There’s absolutely no reason to suggest that the Chargers will win this game, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. During the regular season the Chargers finished with a 9-7 win – loss record compared to the Broncos league leading 13-3 and the only facet of play that the Chargers outperformed the Broncos in was the rushing attack and that’s largely because the Broncos passing game was so dominant that they rarely felt the need to run the ball.
The Chargers however did beat the Broncos by 7 points in Denver just 4 weeks ago so they don’t face a completely hopeless task. Ryan Matthews ran for 127 yards on that occasion and Danny Woodhead, Ronnie Brown and Quarterback Phillip Rivers combined for a further 50 yards on the ground. The Broncos managed to commit 6 penalties for a total loss of 43 yards in the game and Peyton manning had a rare bad game where he completed just 65% of the 41 passes he attempted and he committed the only turnover of the game throwing an interception that was taken by Linebacker Thomas Keiser.
Both teams have injury issues and the Chargers could be without as many as 10 starters (not including their 9 players on IR), the Broncos on have 8 injury concerns heading into this game and 6 on Injured Reserve, but having not had to play during the Wildcard weekend they shouldn’t be missing too many.
The Broncos have averaged 37.9 points per game this season and this is simply there’s to lose, but the Bengals folded in front of the Chargers eyes last week and Peyton Manning is only human so maybe he will feel the pressure that makes the Playoffs so special.