The final Thursday Night Football game on NFL Network for Rich Eisen this season promises to be one heck of a sendoff. The 11-2 Denver Broncos host the 6-7 San Diego Chargers tonight at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in what could very well end up as one of the season’s highest-scoring games. Peyton Manning has been on a tear after the Broncos’ collapse against the Patriots, and he’ll be going against one of the NFL’s worst defenses. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers continues to plow through opposing secondaries on his march toward an MVP-worthy season. There are other reasons to watch TNF online tonight on NFL Network, which we’ll preview below. If you don’t have that luxury, you can also watch Thursday Night Football online using one of several different tools.
The Broncos and Chargers last met six weeks ago. In that prime-time outing, the Manning vs. Rivers quarterback battle saw the Broncos offense stage a massive second-half comeback. Since that time the Broncos have had a couple of missteps, most notably their collapse against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. But Manning has recovered during the past few weeks, throwing the ball with power and efficiency on the way to numbers against the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans that all but cemented his MVP trophy.
Manning’s collapse came in a cold climate and in a high-stakes game, which often combine to be his Achilles heel. Tonight’s Thursday night weather in Denver is forecast to sink into the 20s, and there’s no question tonight’s huge if Denver hopes to win the division title and the AFC’s top seed. He could have another misstep in light of those factors, though nobody at ESPN is predicting the Broncos will lose.
With Wes Welker doomed to watch Thursday Night Football tonight from the Broncos sideline due to concussions, Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o will surely do what he can to help his team beat the odds. It’s not just that Te’o has claimed he’s “made that big jump.” It’s that NFL analysts have also seen the rookie from Notre Dame turn the corner as the season has progressed. With the Chargers D ranked 28th, it will take more than Te’o to stop the offensive juggernaut known as the Denver Broncos.
And where Chargers QB Philip Rivers comes in. Rivers has nothing to do with San Diego’s defense, but he’s led a Chargers offense that’s one of the only ones capable of matching the Broncos point for point. When you watch Thursday Night Football online you could very well see both teams scoring north of 40 points. That would be a great thing for the NFL Network’s TNF ratings, but it’d be even better for fans of offense-minded football.
Like they have most of the season, the Broncos have the NFL’s top-ranked offense. Those stats have been anchored by the league’s #1 passing game, led by a quarterback (Manning) who’s put up 4,522 yards and 45 touchdowns. Yet the Chargers have the league’s fourth-ranked offense, something they’ve achieved behind Rivers’ efficient 3,882 yards, 26 TDs and third-ranked QBR. The Chargers also have running backs Ryan Matthews and Danny Woodhead, the latter of whom leads all running backs in receptions, yards and receiving TDs. The Broncos respond well, though, as running back Knowshon Moreno has rushed for 920 yards in 13 games.
Basically, there’s little doubt that tonight’s Chargers vs. Broncos TNF game is going to be a shootout. You can watch Thursday Night Football online using a laptop, desktop or tablet via the NFL Network website. Using the links on that page you can catch the game with live look-ins to the game broadcast, regular updates from the sidelines, instant game film breakdown and expert studio analysis. You can also watch Broncos vs Chargers Thursday Night Football online via DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any NFL game.