If ever a game between the 7-1 Denver Broncos and 4-4 San Diego Chargers were worth watching, today’s 4:25 EST / 1:25 PST matchup on CBS is that game. Although the teams’ records seem to foretell a guaranteed Broncos win at Qualcomm Stadium, several factors indicate that this could be an absolute grudge match. The most obvious aspect is the quarterback matchup, as the Broncos’ Peyton Manning and the Chargers’ Philip Rivers own two of the top-three overall QB rankings in the NFL this season. But several other aspects, including at least one intangible, give good reason to watch Broncos vs Chargers online free using one of several different methods.
The conversation starts with today’s looming quarterback battle, which should be nothing short of spectacular. On the Broncos side of the field, Peyton Manning has the NFL’s top QBR through eight weeks, having gone 237-333 for 2,919 yards and 29 touchdowns. Yes, those are Superman-like numbers. Consequently, and not surprisingly, Manning has guided the Broncos to the league’s top-ranked passing game and top-rated overall offense along the way, with three separate receivers — Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker — each having caught more than 550 yards this season.
For the San Diego Chargers, quarterback Philip Rivers has been almost as lights-out this season, although the Chargers record doesn’t necessarily show it. Rivers has been efficient in his work this season, solidifying the #3 QBR and going 213-295 for 2,473 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Broncos may have the edge in total passing yards per game, with 358 compared to the Chargers’ 300, but those are still ridiculous numbers and would have Rivers hearing MVP-like whispers in any other season. If the Chargers weren’t muddling through with a 4-4 record, that is.
That record could be on the upswing after today’s game, though, because of those non-QB factors mentioned above. For starters, San Diego coach Mike McCoy spent the previous four years as the offensive coordinator with the Broncos, so if anyone can craft a defensive plan to slow Peyton Manning, it’s him. The Chargers have just the NFL’s 29th-ranked defense, so on paper McCoy and his San Diego squad will have their work cut out for them. But the second intangible in today’s AFC West showdown may actually play just as big a role in the Chargers ability to contain Manning. That intangible: Manning himself.
The Broncos quarterback has traditionally had trouble against San Diego, and everyone (including Manning) knows it. Leading up to the game it’s actually gotten to the point that Manning’s Superman-like numbers mentioned above have been discussed coming into this game as almost meaningless due to the kryptonite-like effect the Chargers seem to have on him. So that’s one thing to look for as you watch Broncos vs Chargers online free. Between Manning’s historical issues against the Chargers and San Diego head coach McCoy’s intimate knowledge of Manning’s weaknesses and tendencies, it should be a virtual chess match out there today.
That chess match will obviously play out only if the Broncos and Chargers defensive units execute. San Diego’s defense has done well under John Pagano, but injuries to Dwight Freeney and Melvin Ingram have really stretched the Chargers thin on that side of the ball. The San Diego D played well in Week 6 against Indianapolis Colts, but didn’t against the Washington Redskins. Which personality will show up today for the bolts? Meanwhile, Denver’s defense is giving up 20 fewer yards in the air than San Diego’s, and although they allow 118 yards rushing per game compared to Denver’s measly 81, they’re still keeping opponents to 21.8 points per game versus Denver’s 27.2. Where Denver wins is on offense, as they can often just out-gun the other team. Against Rivers and the Chargers, that’ll be an interesting test.
So when all is said and done, today’s game really does come down to being a battle of quarterbacks. You can watch Broncos vs Chargers online free on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 4:25 EST / 1:25 PST game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers. Peyton Manning against Philip Rivers should provide some incredible NFL entertainment.