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Chargers vs. Broncos Prediction and Breakdown Part 1

Sunday's game should be an interesting AFC West matchup.

The Los Angeles Chargers (6-4) will travel to Denver to play the Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. pacific. The game will be on CBS with Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Adam Archuleta (analysts), and AJ Ross (sideline).

The Chargers are coming off a 41-37 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Their offense woke up after questions were being asked after recent struggles. Quarterback Justin Herbert threw three touchdowns while running back Austin Ekeler had four touchdowns.

The Broncos are coming off their bye week, but a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles before that. Denver has had an up and down season starting 3-0 but lost five out of the last seven. Their offense has been a little below average, while the defense has been its usual aggressive self.

Their defense features cornerback Patrick Surtain and all-pro safety Justin Simmons. The Chargers offense must take care of the football, especially with both of those players on defense. The most significant question mark is whether OLB Bradley Chubb will be activated for the game. He is a former college teammate of Chargers defensive tackle Justin Jones.

“It’s definitely special, but at the end of the day, I am trying to win,” Jones said. “I am trying to beat them down pretty badly. Take no prisoners. It’s going to be a good game for everybody. Our coaches, our players, myself, obviously. Some of our coaches coming over from Denver, it’s going to be a real emotional game. Everybody wants to go out there and play their hardest and coach the best they possibly can to try and win this game.”

Key Matchup

The Chargers defensive line did a great job of slowing down Najee Harris and the Pittsburgh Steelers rushing attack last week. Can they do it again? The Broncos feature Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams at the running back spot, and they are both have different styles of running the football. The defensive line will need to be at the top of their game if they stop both backs on Sunday.

Defensive player to watch

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Breiden Fehoko. The Chargers will be without defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who is on the COVID list. He will most likely be asked to be the man in the middle, and he did it with authority last week. Fehoko started the game with a big tackle on Harris, so he will need to take command early.

Offensive player to watch

Austin Ekeler. Last week he had a four-touchdown performance, so what will he do for an encore? The Chargers offense will need Ekeler to run the ball well and get in the end zone numerous times like last week. He is also starting to find himself again in the passing game only problem is that he has dropped a couple of passes in the previous few weeks. He needs to secure them, especially when in the red zone.

Key to the game

The Chargers will need to get out to an early lead. Unlike last year they must hold the lead. If they can get out to an early lead, it will make the Broncos offense scramble, and they will throw them off their game. If they turn into a passing team, that means Joey Bosa and CO. will have chances to sack Teddy Bridgewater.

Prediction

Chargers are favored -2.5 points. A victory on Sunday could do two things for the Chargers put them in a tie with the Chiefs for first place and give them a 3-0 in the division for the first time since 1996.

Chargers 31 Broncos 24