The Chargers finished last in the AFC West last season, but that doesn’t mean the Broncos are taking them lightly. Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Von Miller called this year’s team the toughest one he’s ever faced. The two teams square off on Monday Night Football, which kicks off at 10:20 p.m. ET on ESPN (live stream).
Two of the league’s most dangerous pass rushers will hit the field when Miller and Joey Bosa, the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, take their turns terrorizing offensive tackles and the quarterbacks they protect. Miller finished his 2016 campaign with 13.5 sacks, including a pair against Los Angeles passer Philip Rivers. Bosa was held without a sack against Denver last fall but notched 10.5 sacks in 10 other games.
That duo alone should be a reason to stay up late Monday night — and we haven’t even gotten to the Chargers’ loaded offense yet.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 10:20 p.m. ET
- Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colo.
- TV: ESPN
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: Denver is favored by 3.5 points.
Chargers at Broncos news:
- Philip Rivers dropped $200,000 on an SUV that doubles as a mobile film room:
“My two biggest things were my family time and my preparation and what I owe this football team,” Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I was not going to sacrifice either of them in any big proportion. I can look at all the pluses and minuses and say, ‘OK. This does it.’ This allows me to get home in the six to seven hours, which is when I got home the last 11 years, and it allows me to watch all or more of the film I watched before.”
- Melvin Gordon knows two things: scoring touchdowns and judging fashion.
How could I not be intimidated by the former Wisconsin Badger? He’s strong as heck and has an eye for fashion that left me trembling in my near crotchless shorts. But when have I let holes in my clothing or logic stop me?
- Here’s Los Angeles’ unofficial depth chart for 2017:
It is somewhat interesting that Hunter Henry has not passed Antonio Gates on the depth chart, but we can expect to see a lot of two-tight-end sets this season and it is reasonable that the Chargers did not want to take Gates’ status as a “starter” away to start the year.
- Pass rusher Shane Ray is prepped to break out as the Broncos’ next great sack artist.
At first, he was a guy who could make plays just with his athleticism, but his technique has come a long way. Even on the occasions where he has to drop back in coverage, Ray looks much smoother now than he did initially.
- The only measurement of Trevor Siemian’s success behind center is whether the Broncos win:
“I think I’ve grown just in the offseason there’s some things I wanted to work on,” Siemian said of his development. “I feel good about where I’m at and I feel really good about where we’re at as a team. I’m excited to get going and getting some live action.”
Can the Broncos offense level up and get Denver back to the playoffs?
The Broncos field one of the league’s most devastating defenses and least dangerous offenses. While Siemian played better than a former seventh-round pick could have been expected to, his cohort was the reason why the 2015 NFL champions failed to reach the postseason in 2016. The Broncos ranked 27th in the league in total offense and averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in a disappointing 9-7 finish. Will the addition of three new linemen and veteran back Jamaal Charles be enough to reverse last year’s fortunes?
Chargers at Broncos prediction:
SB Nation’s panel of nine experts leans toward the visitors, with six choosing the Chargers to emerge from Monday night with a 1-0 record. That’s a departure from the oddsmakers’ choice, which currently favors the Broncos by 3.5 points.