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Preview: Denver at San Diego
When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, December 6, 2015
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
Brock Osweiler has stepped in for an ineffective and injured future Hall of Fame quarterback and has righted the ship for the Denver Broncos. Osweiler will look to lead the AFC West-leading Broncos to their third straight victory when they visit the division cellar-dwelling San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
While Denver failed to commit to Osweiler beyond this week’s game, the fourth-year quarterback made a statement by throwing for 270 yards and a touchdown in a 30-24 overtime victory over previously unbeaten New England last week. Peyton Manning (foot) may have let the cat out of the bag on Wednesday by telling the Associated Press that he isn’t close to returning to game action. While Denver is making decisions with an eye on the postseason, San Diego simply was happy to snap a six-game skid with a 31-25 victory at Jacksonville last week. Philip Rivers threw for four touchdowns in that contest, but has tossed 10 interceptions while losing six of his last seven meetings with his AFC West rival.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS.
LINE: Broncos -4. O/U: 43
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (9-2): Denver’s much-maligned ground attack was set in motion versus the Patriots, with C.J. Anderson rushing for a season-high 113 yards and two touchdowns – including a 48-yard scamper to end the contest. Anderson was named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts, but remains in the backup role to Ronnie Hillman, coach Gary Kubiak confirmed to reporters on Wednesday. Stud wideout Demaryius Thomas, who torched San Diego for 14 receptions for 228 yards and a touchdown last season, was limited to just one catch for 36 yards last week despite being targeted 13 times.
ABOUT THE CHARGERS (3-8): Melvin Gordon amassed just 80 total yards from scrimmage last week, but Rivers told ESPN that the rookie running back is showing signs of getting comfortable in the backfield. “He seemed like he had a little juice – a little pop to him,” Rivers said. “… This isn’t coming from him, but maybe he was just a little more relaxed – just running and not trying to be so perfect.” Gordon might have to be against Denver, which is allowing an NFL third-best 89 yards per contest.
1. Denver veteran DE DeMarcus Ware (back) returned to practice on Wednesday and is in line to play for the first time since Oct. 8.
2. San Diego fired special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer on Wednesday, with assistant Craig Aukerman expected to oversee the units for the remainder of the season.
3. The Broncos re-signed Josh Bush on Tuesday in the wake of fellow S T.J. Ward’s ankle injury. Bush played in three games with the team before being waived on Oct. 1.
PREDICTION: Broncos 23, Chargers 16