Posted Thu Nov 18th by Jon Heath
Each week, coaches in the NFL watch film on their upcoming opponent. They then come up with a game plan based off what they saw on the film. Similarly, in BT’s Film Room, I’ll watch film on the Broncos upcoming foe week-to-week and give you my thoughts on what to watch for on Sunday. This week: San Diego Chargers Edition.
Heading into week 11, the Chargers are sitting just above the Broncos in the AFC West at 4-5. With both the Broncos and Chargers looking to get back into the playoff race, Monday’s game looks to be a good one.
The Chargers are a willing to throw on just about every down (kinda like the Broncos did, up until last Sunday). As a result, San Diego owns the number one passing attack and is one of the topped ranked offenses in the NFL. Leading the charge on offense is one man — the man the Broncos have talked about all week in practice:
No silly, not Legedu Naanee, Phillip Rivers. Leading the NFL in passing yards, Rivers is putting up MVP-like numbers. Throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns, the Broncos know they’ll have their hands full with Rivers.
“He is a quarterback that is not going to give up on a play,” said Broncos safety Brian Dawkins. “He is going to fight that thing to the last second to hold the ball and try to get rid of it. He is a tremendous competitor.”
His favorite target on the season seems to be Tight End Antonio Gates. This season, Gates leads the Chargers in every receiving category, including yards (663), receptions (40), and touchdowns (9). He is such a big part of the offense, that the Broncos could probably easily handle San Diego’s offense if they are able to contain him, much like they did the 49ers’ Vernon Davis in week 8, when they held the Pro Bowl tight end to just one catch for 12 yards.
As much as the Chargers offense is feared, it can be stopped. And Denver showed last week that they are capable of slowing down explosive offenses. This season Rivers has been sacked 22 times, and San Diego’s rushing attack hasn’t been as reliable for them as it has been in recent years. Getting a lot of pressure on Rivers early and often in the game would go a long way to keeping Denver in the game.
Hopefully the Broncos will be able to put up a performance this week similar to what they did against the Chargers last year on Monday Night Football.