"10-6 sounds a lot better to me than 9-7," says Schottenheimer.
For the Broncos, it's "get ready for the playoffs." With a first-round bye, this is their final game for two weeks. They want to keep sharp, particularly in pass protection. The Chargers will provide that test. They rank fifth in the league in sacks (44), led by rookie linebacker Shawn Merriman (9.0), who was named to the Pro Bowl.
|STREAKS||4 of past 5|| |
|COACHES VS. OPP.||Shanahan: 18-6||Schottenheimer: 11-21|
|LAST WEEK||W 22-3 vs. Raiders||L 20-7 at Chiefs|
|LAST GAME||9/18/05: Chargers 17 at Broncos 20. Denver's Jason Elam kicks game-winning 41-yard FG as Broncos score 17 points in 2nd half.|
|LAST GAME AT SITE||12/5/04: Chargers 20, Broncos 17. San Diego RB LaDainian Tomlinson rushes for 2 TDs and Chargers' defense records 4 INTs.|
|BROADCAST||CBS (1:30 PM PT): Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Bonnie Bernstein (Field reporter) CBS Radio: Joel Meyers, Allen Pinkett, Steve Mason (Field reporter).|
|PASSING||Plummer: 269-442-3,275-60.9-18-7||Brees: 315-486-3,508-24-15-89.8|
|RUSHING||Anderson: 239-1,014-4.2-12||Tomlinson: 321-1,372-4.3-17 (1C)|
|RECEIVING||R. Smith: 84 (3C)-1,094 (3C)-13.0-6||Gates (TE): 86 (2C)-1,078-12.5-10|
|SACKS||Ekuban, Pryce, Wilson: 3.0||Merriman (R): 9.0|
|INTs||Bailey: 8 (2C)||Jue: 3|
|PUNTING||Sauerbrun: 43.7||Scifres: 43.6|
|KICKING||Elam: 112 (T3C) (40/41 PAT; 24/31 FG)||Kaeding: 111 (48/48 PAT; 21/24 FG)|
Chargers: Win would eliminate AFC West rival Kansas City from playoff contention. The offense is the NFL's 2nd best on 3rd-down conversion tries: 86-of-194 for 44.3 percent (Indy: 49.7 percent).
Quarterback Drew Brees (64.8 comp. pct.) is on pace to post 3rd-highest mark in single season in club history.
Running back LaDainian Tomlinson has two rushing touchdowns in each of the past two games versus Denver.
Linebacker Randall Godfrey (4) is tied for the NFL lead in defensive fumble recoveries. Rookie linebacker Shawne Merriman will be 4th-youngest player in NFL history to appear in Pro Bowl on Feb. 12: 21 years, 263 days.
Broncos: Club has clinched AFC's No. 2 playoff seed. Head coach Mike Shanahan is 18-6 (.750) in career versus San Diego – his most wins vs. any single opponent.
Quarterback Jake Plummer (18) needs two touchdown passes to join HOFer John Elway as only QBs in club history to post 20 TDs more than once. Plummer (90.6) also can join Elway as only other Denver QB to post passer seasonal rating of 91.0+ in two seasons.
Running back Mike Anderson has a rushing touchdown in eight of past ten games. With 131 yards, Tatum Bell (869) would join Mike Anderson (1,014) as the first team running-back duo since Cleveland's Kevin Mack (1,104) and Earnest Byner (1,002) in 1985 to each post 1,000 yards.
Wide receiver Rod Smith (796) needs four catches to reach 800 for his career and would be the 15th player in league history to reach milestone. Smith (68) needs two touchdowns to be the first Bronco to record 70 in a career.
Defense is ranked No. 3 in the NFL vs. rush (84.8). Cornerback Champ Bailey scored 25-yd INT-TD in week two meeting. Defensive end Courtney Brown has 1.0 sack in each of two career meetings. versus San Diego.