When you've watched football long enough, nothing surprises you. The 2008 Broncos might be the exception. After losing three of the last five, Denver (8--7) is on the verge of blowing a three-game AFC West lead, handing the division title to the Chargers and missing the playoffs. To win in San Diego this Sunday and avoid that fate, defenseless Denver must play keep-away from red-hot QB Philip Rivers (above, nine TDs, one INT in December) by running Tatum Bell 25 times and controlling the ball. But Broncos coach Mike Shanahan has put his team in Jay Cutler's hands and will game-plan for his quarterback to try to outscore Rivers. I see Cutler throwing a couple of picks and the Chargers moving on fairly easily to win the AFC West by a tiebreaker at 8--8.
This is an article from the Dec. 29, 2008 issue