Broncos at Chargers preview

The Chargers hope to get their revenge on Sunday when Denver must travel to San Diego. The Broncos need a win to stay in the AFC West division race as the Bolts could go up by two games with a win.

DENVER BRONCOS (7-4) AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (8-3)
SERIES

  BRONCOS CHARGERS
LEADER 50-38-1  
STREAKS 12 of past 15  
COACHES VS. OPP. Shanahan: 17-5 Schottenheimer: 10-20
LAST WEEK L 25-24 vs. Raiders W 34-31 at Chiefs
LAST GAME 9/26/04: Chargers 13 at Broncos 23. Denver QB Jake Plummer passes for 294 yards & 2 TDs to lead Broncos to victory.
LAST GAME AT SITE 9/14/03: Broncos 37, Chargers 13. Denver QB Jake Plummer throws 3 TDs & Broncos RB Clinton Portis rushes for 129 yards.
BROADCAST CBS (1:05 PM PT): Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Bonnie Bernstein (Field reporter)

STATS

PASSING Plummer: 210-354-2,751 (3C)-22 (2C)-11-91.7 Brees: 206-313-2,458-21 (3C)-3-108.0 (2C)
RUSHING Droughns: 202-946-4.7-3 Tomlinson: 237-899-3.8-11 (T2L)
RECEIVING Smith: 49-762-15.6-5 Gates (TE): 69 (2L)-795-11.5-11 (T1C)
OFFENSE 384.5 (3C) 364.9
TAKE/GIVE -3 +10
DEFENSE 297.6 313.5
SACKS Hayward: 2.5 Foley: 6.0
INTs Bailey: 3 Florence, J. Wilson: 2
PUNTING Knorr: 41.7 Scifres: 42.5
KICKING Elam: 83 (T3C) (29/29 PAT; 18/21 FG) Kaeding (R): 83 (T3C) (38/39 PAT; 15/19 FG)

NOTES

FIRST PLACE in AFC West at stake.

BRONCOS:
Head coach Mike Shanahan is 17-5 (.773) in career vs. Chargers, his most wins vs. opponent. Denver has won 12 of past 15 in series, including Week 3 win, outscoring SD 421-246.
QB Jake Plummer had 112.5 passer rating in last meeting & has 8 TDs vs. 1 INT in past 3 vs. SD.
RB Reuben Droughns has 100+ rush yards in 6 of past 7 & is averaging 130.9 yards per game in those 7 (916 yds).
WR Rod Smith had career-best 187 receiving yards vs. Chargers (11/19/00), 1 of 3 career 100-yard gms vs. SD. Smith (75 yards, 1 TD) & TE Jeb Putzier (66) tied for team-lead with 5 catches in Wk 3 mtg. WR Ashley Lelie had 33-yd TD in last game vs. SD. Has 30+ yard catch in 10 of 11 games this year & all 6 TDs have been 30+ yds.
Defense held SD RB Tomlinson to 60 yds (2.7 avg.), QB Brees to 59.7 passer rating & TE Gates to 30 yards in Week 3. Broncos posted 4 sacks in last mtg. CB Champ Bailey played for SD's Schottenheimer in '01 at Wash., earning Pro Bowl honor.

CHARGERS: Team has won 5 in row, 7 of past 8 & past 4 at home. Head coach Marty Schottenheimer's teams are 4-3 (.571) vs. Denver QB Plummer.
QB Drew Brees has career-best 108.0 passer rating & has 21 TDs vs. 3 INTs. In past 4 home games, Brees has 14 TDs vs. 0 INTs. In 8 SD wins, Brees has 19 TDs vs. 0 INTs.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson has 313 rush yds (156.5/gm) in past 2 at home vs. Broncos, including 220 yds & 3 TDs (12/1/02). Also had 11 receptions in that game (51 yards) .
TE Antonio Gates tied for AFC lead w/ 11 TD catches. Gates had 2 TDs last week & surpassed club record for most TD catches by TE (10), shared by Willie Frazer (1967) and HOFer Kellen Winslow (1981). Needs 2 TD catches to set NFL record for most by TE in single season. Since joining team via trade (5 games ago), WR Keenan McCardell has 26 catches for 348 yards & 1 TD.
Defense allowed just 37 rushing yards on 21 attempts (1.8 avg.) in last game vs. Broncos. Of those 21 rushing attempts, SD recorded 5 plays for loss. Club's +10 turnover ratio is 4th-best in AFC.
Rookie K Nate Kaeding (No. 65) was 2-for-2 in FGs in last mtg.


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