Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM
Denver Broncos fans certainly have to be wondering if the San Diego Chargers possess the Kryptonite that keeps Peyton Manning from being a superhero. They’ve seen with their own eyes that San Diego has no fear when they’re playing a mile high. These teams played on this field twice last season. Here were the results…
San Diego (+10) beat Denver 27-20
San Diego (+8) lost to Denver 24-17 in the playoffs
That’s a 44-44 tie through 120 minutes. You all should know that Denver enjoys a huge home field advantage. That two-game virtual tie really jumps out when you see the other regular season victory margins from last year!
Denver beat Baltimore by 22
Denver beat Oakland by 16
Denver beat Philadelphia by 32
Denver beat Jacksonville by 16
Denver beat Washington by 24
Denver beat Kansas City by 10
Denver beat Tennessee by 23
Nothing but double digit home wins last year until Denver ran into San Diego. The Chargers shocked them in December, then gave them a battle in January.
Even though San Diego’s defense was questionable last season, the team did start finding its form down the stretch on that side of the ball. That plus a ball-control offense that focused on moving the chains and running clock helped keep Manning off the field and out of synch. You can expect the same game plan Thursday Night. Let’s see if JIM HURLEY’S indicator stats are upset possibilities…
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
San Diego: 5-2 (ranked #28 in USA Today)
Denver: 5-1 (ranked #5 in USA Today)
San Diego is only a half game back in the standings. But, they’ve played a much softer schedule. Injuries have also taken a toll, which is part of why the Chargers lost at home to Kansas City last weekend. The gameplan is still the right approach. Do they have the horses to match up with the Broncos this time given their injury situation?
San Diego: 5.6 on offense, 5.4 on defense
Denver: 6.1 on offense, 4.7 on defense
It’s not a good sign that the Chargers are only +0.2 in per-play differential against such a weak schedule. Though, the defense is grading out much better this year than last. And, the team proved they could win big games when they took out Seattle. Denver is once again dominating the AFC. You could make the case that this year’s team looks even better in terms of what works in the playoffs (balance and defense). Note that the Broncos are undefeated at the end of regulation. Their only loss came in overtime on the road at Seattle. Posting a +1.4 differential with a defense under 5.0 against a tough schedule is a great combination at this point in the season.
San Diego: +6
The Broncos still don’t win this category the way champions usually do. And, that could prove to be troublesome here. It’s easier for San Diego to play “ball control” if Denver can’t take it away! We can’t make Denver a Super Bowl favorite until they show better in this category. That’s all that’s missing.
San Diego: 5-2 ATS
Denver: 3-3 ATS
Denver would be 4-2 ATS if not for the overtime at Seattle, as that was a regulation cover. San Diego caught the market by surprise even though they ended last season so well. Of course, the mark was 5-1 ATS until the loss to Kansas City last week. Are the Chargers starting to regress at the worst possible time?
Current Line: Denver by 7.5, total of 51
The seven is going to be a key number, because the Broncos beat Indianapolis and Kansas City by exactly seven points earlier this season. Those are playoff caliber teams (they played a thriller against each other last January!), as is San Diego. Denver did look fantastic vs. San Francisco this past Sunday Night. But, the Niners were coming off a Monday Night road divisional win. Here, it’s Denver dealing with slightly shorter preparation time after a blowout, while San Diego is in a bounce-back spot against an opponent they may have been looking ahead to anyway.
JIM HURLEYS been studying his computer simulations very closely. After consultations with his full team of experts, he’s confident he knows the right way to play this one. You can purchase the final word during the day Thursday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155.
We move to the colleges for two days beginning tomorrow here in the NOTEBOOK. Then it’s back to the NFL for more prime time thrills…
Thursday: NFL Stat Preview…San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
Friday: College Preview…#6 Oregon at California (Friday Night danger for Ducks?)
Saturday: College Preview…#3 Ole Miss at #24 LSU
Sunday: NFL Stat Preview…Green Bay at New Orleans
Monday: NFL Stat Preview…Washington at Dallas
Tuesday is set aside for Game Six of the World Series unless the Fall Classic ends in five on Sunday. Don’t forget that the NBA regular season starts next week!
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