The Los Angeles Chargers fight for a winning record against the visiting Denver Broncos who are searching for their first win.
These Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos have faced each other a whopping 116 times, with the Broncos edging out the Chargers overall with a 64-51-1 head-to-head record in Denver’s favor. In recent years, L.A. has been more dominant, taking two of the last three. Since they are in the same division, this is the first of two matchups between the two teams this season.
Round 2 of this season series will come knocking in Week 13, right after the Chargers’ bye week. A matchup between these two is hardly news-worthy now. However, the Chargers have more playoff potential between the two so a loss will be detrimental later on.
The Broncos have been underwhelming this season. An 0-4 record has placed them firmly in the back of the pack, not just in their division but in the whole league. As Week 5 rolls in, the Broncos are one of six teams that haven’t posted a win. Veteran Joe Flacco took over as quarterback in the offseason and it seems he is still adjusting to life in the Mile High City. Flacco has a mere five touchdowns on the season, scoring only one a game in the first two matchups. Of those five touchdowns, two were to Emmanuel Sanders and two were to Courtland Sutton. If the Chargers can contain those two, they will seriously diminish the Broncos’ passing game. They will still have to contend with Phillip Lindsay, who has run for 213 yards and two touchdowns on the season.
Among the questionable for the matchup from Denver’s side are Ja’Wuan James, Kareem Jackson, and Josey Jewell. Bryce Callahan is the only player confirmed to be out.
There has been little talk of anything from Los Angeles, other than Melvin Gordon’s return. While Gordon was technically active for last week’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins, he didn’t see any playing time. Instead, Austin Ekeler remained the primary running back. The two will likely spilt the load as the Chargers host the Broncos. Aside from the Chargers needing to see Gordon in a game after his time away, it seems crazy to remove Ekeler from the equation when he has six of the team’s ten touchdowns this year. It is likely the Chargers will try a one-two punch of running backs reminiscent of the Saints’ duel threat with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram last season.
While the talk has rarely strayed from Gordon, there should be talk of the injuries piling up on the sidelines. While the Broncos have only three questionable players, the Chargers have eight, including five of which are on offense or special teams. The statuses of Mike Williams, Justin Jackson, Travis Benjamin, Thomas Davis, Sr., Melvin Ingram III, Virgil Green, Michael Badgley, and Nasir Adderley are still up in the air.
Date: Sunday, October 6, 2019
Start Time: 4:05 p.m. EST
Location: Carson, Calif.
Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park
TV Info: CBS
The Chargers should easily walk away with this win despite the significant injuries. Williams has powered through injury so far this season for 157 yards while Gordon needs to prove that his holdout was strictly talent-based. It is also a matchup that Gordon will be going into fully healthy, a status that has been somewhat rare in his career. He does well enough to be one of the best backs in the league when injured, so a healthy version of him against a struggling Broncos defense will be a sight to see.