NFL News - October 13th, 2009 - Written by John
It would not have been a shock to anyone to say that the Week Six match-up between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos would feature one undefeated team, and another with an inconclusive 2-2 record. After all, the Chargers looked as strong as ever with the return of Shawn Merriman and LaDainian Tomlinson, and the Broncos were in turmoil with the public shakeup of their locker room over the off-season. Where the stunner would come in: the Broncos are that said undefeated team.
Under Josh McDaniels, the Denver Broncos appear to be one of the most disciplined, driven teams in the league, and are among the mere five teams without a loss. They stunned both the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots last week, coming back from second half deficits in both games. They are 5-0 and are the surprising headliner in this week's Monday Night Football game over the Chargers.
The San Diego Chargers, meanwhile, have played well yet haven't seen the desired results. They could easily be 4-1 with a win over the Baltimore Ravens, but were stopped on 4th-and-2 with less than a minute to go and lost by five. After making the Pro Bowl last season, Philip Rivers is putting together another great season, throwing for 1,245 yards, including a 436-yard day against Baltimore. He is picking up over eight yards per attempt and has slowly turned Vincent Jackson into a premier Fantasy receiver. They could actually be the division leader if they win this game because both teams have only played on AFC West foe.
Oddsmakers at Bodog Sportsbook like the offensive firepower too much, and are expecting the Chargers to bring Denver back down to earth. They are surrendering 3 1/2 points to the Broncos, with an even -110 payout both ways. The over/under for the game is 44.
The Chargers are 6-3 ATS recently, and are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 against AFC West teams. They are 10th in the league in points per game, despite already having a bye week, which will be an interesting test for the dominant Broncos defense. Denver has only allowed an NFL-best 43 points this year, and are clearly the most suffocating unit in the league. The 17 they surrendered last week against New England was the most they've given up all season and all of their games have hit the under.
Their offense has been surprisingly good, as well. Kyle Orton has been one of the most accurate passers in the league and has only one cheap interception to his name. It came last week when he threw a hail mary in the closing seconds of the first half. He was once considered to be a top draft pick when he entered the league and is finally showing why. He has a completion rate of 63 and has a sterling rating of 97.4. He has helped wide receiver Brandon Marshall fall back into the good graces of the media, connecting with him 24 times for 283 yards.
Two of his last three touchdowns have tied the game or given the Broncos the lead. The Broncos run game doesn't seem to have slid without Mike Shanahan. Both Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter have at least 250 yards rushing when some teams don't even have one runner with that many. The team is fourth in the league in total rushing yards.
Check out the rest of the NFL Week 6 Game Previews for other matchups around the league.
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