What better way to describe what will happen tonight in Denver than to invoke the old World War II phrase, ‘blitzkrieg’.
It will be bombs away, with two of the greatest modern day quarterbacks, two tremendously explosive offenses, two bright light coaches, no huddle offenses, big play receivers, thin air and more.
Peyton Manning now has 510-career touchdown passes, having just rewritten the record book last week, blowing by Brett Favre’s career mark. Philip Rivers has rewritten the passing records put in place by Dan Fouts.
And tonite will be a remake of all the past matchups, the Bolts QB against the legend-icon who had all those great years with the Colts and now is duplicating it with the Broncos.
It is convenient to remember how Rivers has outdueled Manning in games gone by over the years, but none of that comes into play tonite. Fans want to recall how the Chargers defense got on Manning’s body and in his head, but that was many pass rushers ago. Denver has more weapons than Manning had around him in Indianapolis. Rivers has a one dimensional team, so different form the aura-era when he was linked to LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles.
But the numbers are staggering heading to tonite’s 5:25 shootout.
Denver averaging 394-yards per game to San Diego’s 360.
Manning with 1,848-yards passing, 19TDs, 3-interceptions, a 68% completion rate, and a league leading 118-rating. Rivers has thrown 17-TDs, just 3-picks, covered 1,961-yards, and has 113-rating.
The pass catchers are everywhere, and always dangerous. The Broncos Demariyus Thomas is averaging 17-yards per catch; Em Sanders 23.5; Julius Thomas 10.9 and Wes Welker 10-yards per reception.
San Diego is much the same. Eddie Royal, 15-yards per catch; Malcom Floyd 20-yards per big receptions; Antonio Gates 13-yards; and LeDarius Green 14-yards per catch.
Denver scores alot, controls the clock and wears you out. By virtue of injuries at running back, with the Bolts now on their 4th starter, the Chargers rely more on the big play. They have a whopping 60 plays of 10-yards or more, and 15-plays of plus 20.
In the Red Zone, no one slows either down. Denver has 17TDs inside the 20-yard line, converting 79%. San Diego has 14TDs and a respectable a 56% conversion rate.
The story may be offense, the key will be who survives on defense. The Chargers are wounded, and looked done last week, whipped by Kansas City. Denver, has changed its entire personality, with the acquisitions of free agents DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and TJ Ward. That and the return to health of pass rusher Von Miller, tough-guy tackle Derek Wolfe and left tackle Ryan Clady.
The Broncos lost a close game to Seattle, but have reeled off wins of 14-21-25 the last three weeks. The Chargers have that early season win over the Seahawks, but much of thier schedule has been against the garbage in the league. They’ve lost to Arizona and Kansas City, chilling the overall enthusiasm of how good this team is.
Good offense, not so good defense, and San Diego not likely to win. Denver-too much offense and a better defense. Broncos to win tonite 38-24, just too much Peyton, not enough Blue-Gold defense, and little help for Rivers.
I love big games, and it does not get any better than this, at least on the offensive side of the ball. This might be as good a game as there will be all season, just for fireworks and excitement and the quarterbacks and the historical rivalry, and that’s without even mentioning the importance of the standings..