Teams in the NFL will take advantages any way they can get them. For the San Diego Chargers their hidden – or not so hidden – leg up on the Denver Broncos in the upcoming Week 10 match-up is head coach Mike McCoy.
After switching AFC West gear and receiving a fancy new title, McCoy defected from the Broncos in the offseason to try and help the Bolts beat his former squad. With the first of two games on tap this coming Sunday this will be his first opportunity to do just that with the team he now leads on a weekly basis.
If there’s anyone who can crack the code of Peyton Manning and at least keep the Broncos on their toes it’s the man who orchestrated the whole show less than 12 months ago. McCoy knows Denver’s personnel inside and out with the majority of the team’s skill players having their best seasons with him calling the shots. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of guys like Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Julius Thomas. And even though Wes Welker wasn’t present last season for the Broncos the Bolts are plenty familiar with the slot specialist.
Even though McCoy is an offensive specialist by trade, there’s no doubt he will be most useful to the San Diego defense in this week of preparation. His ability to analyze the special orders that Manning barks out along with the checks at the line of scrimmage will be invaluable to a Chargers defense sure to be scrambling for answers come Sunday. It would be wise for the secondary of the Bolts to pick McCoy’s brain leading up to the contest to try and understand the complex route combinations and tendencies of the Denver scheme.
On paper this game screams mismatch in favor of the Broncos with Denver boasting the league’s top passing offense and the Chargers having the 27th ranked aerial defense, but San Diego’s fourth-ranked passing attack should have some success as well against a Broncos secondary ranked 30th in stopping the pass. While these are just numbers and won’t carry any real weight heading into Sunday’s game, it seems quite possible this contest could turn into quite the shootout.
The Chargers know the secret to Manning is applying pressure to the cerebral assassin. He may be a divisional foe now, but when Manning was with the Indianapolis Colts the Bolts had his number. It’s vital for defensive coordinator John Pagano and coach McCoy to work together to devise some schemes that will be successful against the Denver offense. With the proper collaboration and execution on Sunday there’s no reason to believe these Bolts can’t get inside of Manning’s head once again.