Everyone and their brother wants to make the postseason battle between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos all about the quarterbacks. However, the play of Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning is hardly the thing on my mind. Instead, it’s the fact that San Diego is fresh off a Wild Card win that saw the Chargers rush for a season-high 196 yards.
Ryan Matthews and Danny Woodhead both had fantastic games versus a top-notch Cincinnati Bengals defense. Now, the stout running back duo will prepare for a team that San Diego has already defeated this season.
Believe it or not: the Chargers helped create the formula to beating the high-flying Broncos. Denver might lead the NFL in scoring, but it’s impossible for Manning to put points on the board when he’s on the sidelines. And when Rivers’ team is on the field for over 38 minutes, it’s incredibly difficult for Denver to get any rhythm going on offense.
With that in mind, look for the Chargers to really attack a Broncos run defense that surrendered 15 rushing touchdowns during the regular season. San Diego head coach Mike McCoy has a beat on what the Broncos want to do, but if the Chargers can’t get their running game going early and often then it’s going to be difficult for Rivers to go on the road and put this San Diego team on his back. As it stands, the fate of the Chargers’ season rest in the hands of the team’s running game.