Toronto Sports Media Game of the Night

Denver Broncos (3-6, 1-3 away) vs San Diego Chargers (4-5, 3-1 home) @ Qualcomm Stadium on TSN, 8:30 PM ET

Line: SD by 9

Total: 50.5

Reason To Watch: For the first time in five seasons the AFC West is a wide open division. Kansas City leads the division for the first time since Priest was carrying the rock for them. Oakland is in second place and 3-0 in the division, with a very good shot of leading the division when they go to Miami and take on the Tyler Thigpen.

The Broncos need to win this to avoid be eliminated from the playoffs. QB Kyle Orton continues to look like steal in the Cutler trade (pretty nutty how Denver could pull off a huge steal in Orton, then give away a star in Peyton Hillis the next year).

Orton ranks fourth in yards (2806) and will likely move in to second place after tonights game (Orton only needs 166 yards to pass Brees). The six year man out of Purdue has thrown over 300 yards in a game 5 times (one of those a 476 yards against Indy) and has the Broncos third in the league in passing offense.

Denver’s been so good passing the ball, they have made a star out of WR Brandon Lloyd. The journey man wide receiver comes in to tonight second in receiving yards (968) on 48 catches with a mind boggling 20.2 yards per catch. To put that 20.2 yards per catch in perspective, Roddy White has 79 catches for 1017 yards, Terrell Owens 62 catches for 897 yards, and Reggie Wayne 71 catches for 865 yards. Lloyd is killing it as a deep threat with 18 catches of 20 yards or more.

The problem with Denver’s offense is the run game ranks last in the league averaging a “Turrable” 76.5 yards a game. While RB Knowshon Moreno is returning to full health (he’s missed 3 games due to injury this year) he’s coming off his first 100 yard game (106) last week in the win over KC. Which brings us back to Peyton Hillis, the Bronco’s clearly had their QB of the present with Orton as well as future when they took Saint Tim Tebow in the first round. So why trade for a back up QB in Brady Quinn. Hillis is becoming a legend in Cleveland, with a 774 yards and 4.5 yards a carry. If the Broncos still had Hillis they could be 7-2 sailing threw the division despite a weak defense.

San Diego has all the numbers and stats, first in passing yards a game (312.4), first in passing yards against (185.2), and third in rushing yards against (89.4).  The Chargers have been a disaster on special teams this year.

San Diego lost two huge key parts of their special teams, when Kassim Osgood left to Jacksonville cause he thought he was a wide receiver. Osgood made the Pro Bowl in 2007, 2008, and 2010 as the AFC special teams representative. The Chargers also lost long snapper David Binn for the season. Binn, who was the only member 1994 Super Bowl team on the roster, playing without him maybe the reason why the Chargers have four blocked punts against them this year. Without All Pro Osgood, San Diego’s allowed three touchdowns in the return game (2 on kickoffs, 1 on punts).

Chargers 40, Broncos 27

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