TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 6 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At San Diego Chargers

Denver Broncos
San Diego Chargers
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos scrambles with the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos scrambles with the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 09: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Broncos have given their quarterback chores to an unproven youngster in Trevor Siemian, and while he does not have a big-time pedigree, he has demonstrated that he has the physical skills and intelligence to take the reins of the defending Super Bowl champions and lead successfully. Siemian (shoulder) is expected to be back after missing the Broncos’ Week Five game against Atlanta.
Winner The Chargers are facing a crucial time in their history, as their future in San Diego is once again on the line. Winning at home against the Broncos may or may not have an impact on their future, but a victory could help raise the excitement level. Philip Rivers continues to give everything he has on a weekly basis, but the Chargers struggle badly in the fourth quarter.
Offense
Winner The Broncos are not a fancy offense that tries to fool opponents with a number of complicated formations. Instead, they want to attack with C.J. Anderson and the ground game, thereby taking pressure off of their young quarterback. When the running game is effective, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are capable of doing quite a bit of damage.
The Chargers are capable of moving the ball and scoring points, especially in the first half. Their offense tends to stall out in the fourth quarter, and that exacerbates their defensive inefficiencies. Melvin Gordon is running harder and with more purpose than he did a year ago, but he is not a finished product. Travis Benjamin is a solid threat on the outside and is capable of making big plays.
Defense
Winner The Broncos are almost always going to come through with a sensational effort at the game’s most crucial moments. Success begets success, especially when players like Von Miller, Brandon Marshall and Derek Wolfe remain hungry and healthy. Miller is the best defensive player in the league because he makes the most impactful plays when the game is on the line.
The Chargers have been hurt by the injury to linebacker Manti Te’o, who was a consistent tackler and did a good job of diagnosing the play as it unfolded. The Chargers play with good effort on defense, but they lack impact players and overall depth. As a result, they have gotten worn down in the final quarter and that has led to a number of heartbreaking defeats already this season.
Special Teams
Winner The Broncos do a decent job in punt and kickoff coverage, but they have not been special. Sanders is a potential gamebreaker in the return game. Brandon McManus has a strong enough leg and he can hit long field goals in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers have been hurting themselves with their inefficient special teams play. They are among the most ineffective teams in the return game and their coverage is ordinary. The combination of Drew Kaser and Josh Lambo at punter and placekicker, respectively, is unimpressive.

The Winner Is

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos scrambles with the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Winner Denver Broncos
3 out of 4

The Chargers are capable of playing a hard-fought and emotional game at home. However, don’t expect them to hold onto the lead in the fourth quarter because of their defensive woes.

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