Free NFL Pick: Denver at San Diego 11-22-2010

November 22, 2010


Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

Monday November 22nd, 2010 8:30 PM EST

Line: San Diego -9


At 3-6, the Denver Broncos have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. After dropping four straight, they came away with a huge victory over their division rival Kansas City Chiefs. They will try to build on that success by coming away with a victory against another division rival, the San Diego Chargers.

San Diego has played well enough to remain within one score in every single game this season. That being said, they are still a pedestrian 4-5. They have the numbers to be an elite team, but do they have the mentality. After coming off a bye week, they will look to put together a third straight victory and inch closer to the top of the AFC West, where the flawed Chiefs and Raiders are still above them.

Keys to the Game:

  • The Broncos need to show up on defense. They allow 28 points a game, which will not result in many wins for any team. Sure, they have an explosive offense that can bring them close at times, despite their horrific defensive play, but the Broncos will not be stringing together any wins until somebody steps up on the defensive side of the ball.
  • The Broncos have a secondary laden with hall of famers, but without any sort of pass rush, they are putting their secondary in a position to fail. On top of that, they have no sign of a run defense whatsoever, ranking 31st in the NFL with 143.1 7 yards allowed on the ground per game. The Chargers are going to put up their points, and if the Broncos fail to even remotely slow them down, they are going to be blown away.
  • Philip Rivers commands the number one passing offense in the league. With a number of his targets being injured in recent weeks, he has been able to maximize the potential of those around him. There are some quarterbacks that make everyone around them better. Rivers has proven that it does not matter who his surrounding cast is, he will produce. Last week he threw four touchdowns with no Legedu Naanee, Antonio Gates, or Malcom Floyd. As the regulars start trickling back into the lineup, the offense will surely improve. For now, Rivers is getting it done by himself.
  • Kyle Orton to Brandon Lloyd is a lethal combination, but it was the play of Knowshon Moreno that played a major role in the Broncos offense. The Broncos have tirelessly bombed the ball down field to Lloyd with great success. Unfortunately, it has not been equating to victories this season. If the Broncos fail to run the ball, their offense becomes one dimensional. The running game was key to their success last year, and if Moreno can continue to put up numbers like he did in his last outing, we will see the Broncos remain more competitive in their games.
  • The Chargers weren’t able to salvage their relationship with Shawne Merriman, but have filled the pass rush void with a collective team effort. They have the ability to get after the opposing quarterback with a number of different weapons in their 3-4 scheme. With 27 sacks already this season, you can expect to see them continue to be aggressive Vs. Denver. Denver has allowed 21 sacks this season, but the Chargers will be one of their toughest challenges yet. The pass happy offense will allow for a number of opportunities for Kyle Orton to be put on the ground.

Key Matchup:

Antonio Gates Vs. his Foot.

  • Gates has hauled in multiple touchdowns in both outings where the Chargers covered by the given spread. It appears as though Gates will try to play, but if he fails to produce, Rivers loses a big time red zone threat. A missed opportunity in the red zone might still equate to a Chargers victory, but could lead to the Broncos covering the spread.

Wrap Up:

I like the Chargers, but they just haven’t been blowing teams away consistently. While Denver has been hit or miss this season, I liked what I saw in the run game the last time they took the field. San Diego gets the long week after their bye, but they should still struggle with stopping the Broncos. If the Broncos can hit 21 points, they should easily cover. I still think the Chargers will win, but I would put the line at 5, rather than 9.

Free NFL Pick: Denver +9

CALL 516-852-4502 If you are serious about making MONEY....


Comments are closed.