The Denver Broncos will visit the San Diego Chargers to kick off Week 6 of the NFL schedule on Thursday night. Despite being a matchup between a 4-1 team that’s coming off a Super Bowl championship last season and a 1-4 team that looks poised to finish last in their division this season, these two AFC West rivals almost always put on a good show.
The Broncos, unfortunately, will be playing without head coach Gary Kubiak on Thursday night. As the Inquisitr tells us, Kubiak will not coach after being rushed to the hospital following Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. With the Broncos playing on Thursday, there’s no reason for Kubiak to rush back so quickly, especially with most of the season left to play.
Nevertheless, the Broncos and Chargers will square off Thursday night in San Diego, and here are five bold predictions for this Week 6 NFL showdown.
Melvin Gordon Held Under 25 Yards Rushing
Gordon has found the end zone six times this season, which is great for the Chargers, but he hasn’t done much else. He’s averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, which isn’t enough to give San Diego a consistent rushing attack. He’s also lost two fumbles this year. Against a Denver defense that’s one of the best in the league, he’ll have all kinds of problems gaining yards. Opportunities close to the goal line will be tough to come by against the Broncos, so don’t expect Gordon to find the end zone. In fact, Gordon will struggle so much that the Chargers will eventually abandon the running game, leaving their starting running back with less than 25 yards rushing against the Broncos on Thursday night.
Trevor Siemian Returns With A Bang And Cements Starting Quarterback Job
The Broncos played Sunday with Paxton Lynch at quarterback, as Siemian was resting a shoulder injury he suffered the previous week. However, NFL.com is reporting that Siemian will be back in the starting lineup for the Broncos Thursday against the Chargers. The last time he played a full game, Siemian threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns against the Cincinnati Bengals, a team with a much better defense than the Chargers. Expect Siemian to have another big game Thursday, leaving no doubt that he’s the guy in Denver this year after Lynch delivered an uneven performance in his first NFL start on Sunday.
Philip Rivers Gets Sacked Five Times
The Denver defense is tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the most sacks in the NFL this season with 19, which is an average of nearly four sacks per game. That means San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is in for a rough night on Thursday. With Gordon and the Chargers struggling to run the ball, Von Miller and company will be able to pin their ears back and go after Rivers all night. Rivers has only been sacked 11 times this season, which is an acceptable amount, but he hasn’t seen a pass rush like this since he faced the Broncos last year, getting sacked seven times over the course of two games. Denver will get to Rivers at least five times on Thursday night.
Cody Latimer Finally Has Breakout Game At Wide Receiver
In his third NFL season, Latimer has yet to make much noise as a receiver, although he has become a consistent contributor for the Broncos on special teams. However, in a short week, the Broncos will throw a little wrinkle into their game plan and make Latimer a bigger part of the offense, knowing the Chargers won’t have time to prepare to face him. Siemian will find him early and often, finally allowing Latimer to break out and become a meaningful part of the Denver offense the rest of the season.
Broncos Win 34-10
It’s been a frustrating year for the Chargers, as their four losses have come by a combined 14 points. But there will be no nervous energy in the second half of Thursday’s game, as the Broncos will be in complete control from start to finish. Denver will undoubtedly be upset after suffering their first loss of the season on Sunday, and the Broncos will take out that frustration on the Chargers. San Diego will enter the game thinking they have a chance, and they may even take an early lead, but these two teams are on different levels, and the Broncos will have a dominating night, blowing out their division rivals 34-10.
[Featured Image by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]