The Broncos-Chargers score was about what everyone expected. Since the Broncos-Chargers score put San Diego back at .500, another expected event may be on the horizon. With their 35-14 win, San Diego is just about out of their customary early season hole, although it was a bigger one than usual. Given the weakness of the AFC West, they might not need to win nearly every game to take back control. Yet if those games go like the Broncos-Chargers battle, they may win most every game anyway.
Denver came in at 3-6, with little room to save their season. But although San Diego was 4-5, a win last night would have put them in great shape. Since the first-place Chiefs are only 6-4, a .500 record makes one a serious contender in this division.
But the score looked good for Denver early on, as they jumped to a 7-0 lead. Kyle Orton looked to be in a duel with Philip Rivers all night – yet this brief moment of hope was quickly shattered.
Rivers is on pace for the single season passing yards record, but he only needed 233 yards last night. The biggest pass of the game might have come from punter Mike Scifres in the first quarter, as the successful fake punt got the Chargers going.
From then on in, the score became fairly one-sided, as the San Diego offense had their usual showcase. Rivers only completed 15 passes, but four of them were for touchdowns, to four different receivers.
Now that San Diego is 5-5, Rivers’ MVP candidacy can be taken more seriously. Every season, San Diego has preseason Super Bowl expectations, is written off after a terrible start, then winds up winning the AFC West anyway. Although they started 2-5, and are still a game behind the Chiefs, they may be AFC West favorites again.
On the other end, the Broncos-Chargers score served as an ugly bookend to the Josh McDaniels era. When they faced off on Monday night last year, Denver improved to 6-0 under their new coach. Since then, they and McDaniels have plummeted, as this latest Monday night game in San Diego could help get McDaniels fired before long.
Denver is now reduced to playing out the string, as even a 3-7 record isn’t good enough in the AFC West. As for San Diego, their resurgence gets a major test in a Sunday night battle next week, as Rivers duels with Peyton Manning and the Colts.
Los Angeles Times- “San Diego Chargers defeat the Denver Broncos, 35-14”