It’s hard to root against Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, but history seems to do it. Manning has a 9-11 record in the playoffs, with eight of those losses being one-and-out disappointments. Going into today’s AFC Divisional Playoffs game against the San Diego Chargers, history will remind the Broncos QB that he’s never beaten the Chargers in the playoffs. This regular season was different, with Manning breaking several QB records, but will his post-season result be different too? Manning’s felt pressure before, but never more than he’s had for today’s Chargers game. If you can’t watch live how he performs at home today on CBS, you can watch Chargers vs Broncos live free AFC Divisional Playoffs online streaming using a few different services.
Manning this season threw for an NFL-record 5,477 yards and 55 TDs. That epic regular season followed one of his more infamous one-and-done playoff outings, a 38-35 loss to the Baltimore Ravens exactly one year ago today. In that game Manning went 28-43 for 290 yards and three touchdowns, but he had an 88.3 passer rating and two interceptions, one of which led to Ravens’ winning field goal in overtime.
In six of his eight one-and-dones, Manning’s passer rating has been below his career average of 97.2. But again, this year has been different. Special even. Manning this season had an 82.9 Total QBR according to ESPN, second in the league, but his passer rating isn’t even in the top eight. The Denver Broncos QB will accept those lower averages in light of his record-setting season. But he’ll downright embrace them — and erase almost all that one-and-done talk — if he wins today’s Broncos game and advances to the Divisional championship and Super Bowl.
But first things first. Today’s Chargers game won’t be a gimme, as the Chargers beat the Broncos 27-20 when they last met in Week 15. It was the Broncos first home loss in 14 games. San Diego’s running backs ground out 168 rushing yards on 44 carries in that game, with Ryan Mathews running for 127 yards on 29 carries alone. Chargers QB Philip Rivers threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the San Diego ground game that kept the Chargers offense on the field for nearly 39 minutes.
Manning can only make a difference if he’s on the field. In that Week 15 matchup he wasn’t, and he’ll need to be today as you watch Chargers vs Broncos live free AFC Divisional Playoffs online streaming if the Broncos hope to win. Stopping the Chargers running game will be vital for the Broncos to get their Hall-of-Fame quarterback the ball. That should give more opportunities to Chargers QB Rivers, who had the third-best Total QBR this season in passing for 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns.
That doesn’t mean today’s Broncos Chargers game will be a shootout. Having averaged 37.9 points during the regular season, the Broncos were held to fewer than 30 in just three games. But two of those came against the Chargers: their aforementioned Week 15 loss and a 28-20 Week 10 win at San Diego in which Manning passed for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
Although they beat the Broncos last month, the San Diego Chargers still enter Sunday’s AFC divisional playoffs game as nearly double-digit underdogs. Will they cover the spread or, if history continues its pattern, perhaps even win? Kickoff for today’s AFC Divisional playoffs game is scheduled for 4:40 EST / 1:40 PST on CBS. You can watch Chargers vs Broncos live free AFC Divisional Playoffs online streaming on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with Max package. Watching the online live streaming version like that requires a subscription, but anyone who has a subscription can watch any NFL playoff game free online, including today’s 2014 AFC Divisional playoffs game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. CBS Sports is also live streaming all of the AFC playoff games they’re broadcasting, including a live stream you can watch free online of today’s Chargers Broncos game.