TV Schedule: Thursday, Dec. 12, 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Stadium: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Weather: High 49, Low 23
Line: Denver (-10)
The 2013 season has been kind to the Denver Broncos. Although they aren’t yet considered the best team in the NFL even with a 11-2. Denver is, however, easily the best team in the AFC this season. Peyton Manning is having the best season of his career despite his age approaching 40. Manning is on pace to break the passing touchdowns record in 2013, posting 45 touchdown passes to go along with 4,522 yards. In fact, he’s on pace to break both the passing yards and passing touchdowns records for a single season. Demaryius Thomas is quickly turning into one of the best receivers in the league, catching 74 passes for 1,149 yards and 11 touchdowns — leading the team in all three categories. Knowshon Moreno leads the run game with 920 yards and 10 touchdowns while Montee Ball has 456 yards and four scores.
While the Broncos might be the best team in the AFC, the San Diego Chargers might be one of the most surprising teams in the conference. San Diego has posted a 6-7 record through 13 games even though not many people gave them credit to even win six games all season. Philip Rivers has had a resurgent year, passing for 3,882 yards and 26 touchdowns to a somewhat unknown wide receiving group. Rookie wide out Keenan Allen has led the way for receivers, catching 61 passes for 902 yards and five touchdowns while Antonio Gates remains one of the best tight ends in the league, catching 68 passes for 776 yards and three touchdowns. Ryan Matthews leads the rushing attack with 885 yards and four touchdowns on 4.3 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Chargers have struggled this season. San Diego ranks a solid 12th in points allowed per game while ranking 28th in total yards allowed as well as passing yards allowed per game. Denver has been somewhat similar to the Chargers, ranking 25th in points allowed and 25th in total yards allowed. However, the Broncos rank 29th in passing yards allowed while excelling in run defense.
PREDICTION: Chargers 24, Broncos 42
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.