By Justin Adams
DENVER (CBS4) – It’s the final game of the season for the Denver Broncos. For the second consecutive year, Denver will finish the year with a losing record (something that hasn’t happened since 1972). This is an important game for the Los Angeles Chargers. With a win and the Kansas City Chiefs losing to the Oakland Raiders, the Chargers would capture the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Here are four things to watch for in Sunday’s game as the Broncos look for the season sweep against the Chargers for the first time since 2015.
1. Possibly Final Game for Several Broncos
This could be the final time we see several players in orange and blue. Linebacker Shaq Barrett wants to be a starter next year and may leave with Bradley Chubb and Von Miller cemented in the starting roles. Another linebacker, Shane Ray may be gone as well. Ray has a disappointing 10 tackles and one sack on the year, and hasn’t played in the last two games. Bradley Roby will be a hot commodity in a slim cornerback free agent market. Brandon Marshall is under contract, but the Broncos could save money on the cap by releasing him after the season.
2. Final Game for Domata Peko?
Another player who could be playing his last game as a Bronco is Domata Peko, but for another reason. The 13-year veteran is 34-years old, which is old in football terms. He played one of the best games of the year against the Raiders collecting five tackles. Peko could choose to retire or play another season. He is a free agent.
3. Denver Could Dent Los Angeles Chargers Playoff Seeding
The Broncos can’t make the playoffs, but they could hurt the Chargers chances of making it to the Super Bowl. With a win, Denver would end Los Angles’ chances of winning the AFC West. The Chargers would still be in the playoffs but would be locked in the 5th seed in the AFC Playoffs. A Chargers win over the Broncos combined with the Raiders beating the Chiefs and the road to the Super Bowl would go through Hollywood.
4. Broncos Offense Needs to Come Back Alive
Denver’s chances of beating Los Angeles will rest on the production of the offense. The Broncos averaged 14.6 points in the last three games. The run game will be the key. With Phillip Lindsay out for the year with a wrist injury, Royce Freeman and Devonte Booker will need to carry the load. The Broncos averaged 78.3 rushing yards in the last three games, which is lower than the 121.7 per game season average.
Catch the Broncos final game of the 2018 season on CBS4 at 2:25 p.m. on Sunday.