A Look Back At Last Week
The Bolts used a second half surge to cruise to a 27-10 victory in Cincinnati over the Bengals. The defense came up clutch with a season-high four turnovers, including three in the second half as they shut out one of the most potent offenses in the league. They outscored the home team 20-0 over the final 30 minutes of action behind touchdowns by
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
On Offense for the Broncos
Denver possesses one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history (if not the most) behind the strength of one of the all-time greats, Peyton Manning. The Broncos quarterback set the NFL’s single-season passing-yard record with 5,477 yards and finished the regular season with 55 touchdown passes, also the most in a season in NFL history. With 491 touchdown passes and 5,532 completions, Manning now trails only Brett Favre (508 TDs; 6,300 completions; 71,838 yards) in the three major career passing categories. The Broncos have a bevy of dangerous weapons, including wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker, as well as tight end Julius Thomas and running backs Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball.
On Defense for the Chargers
The Chargers played some of their best football of the season on defense down the stretch, recording 10 total takeaways in the last six regular season games. They kept that going with four against the Bengals, including interceptions by
On Defense for the Broncos
The Broncos possess an active defense, and were led by linebacker Danny Trevathan with 128 tackles. Former Charger Shaun Phillips led the team with 10.0 sacks, while Malik Jackson had 6.0 and Robert Ayers 5.5. In the turnover department, Trevathan, Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie and Chris Harris each had three interceptions for nine of Denver’s 17 picks on the year while they also forced 16 fumbles.
The Chargers and Broncos have met 108 times in the past, but this is the first ever playoff game between the two teams. Denver leads the all-time series 58-49-1, but the Bolts won the last game 27-20 in Week 15.
By the Numbers
In 2013, the Chargers ranked fifth in total offense (393.3 yards per game), fourth in passing (270.5 ypg), 13th in rushing (122.8 ypg) and 12th in points (24.8). The Broncos rank first in total offense (457.3 ypg), first in passing (340.2ypg), 15th in rushing (117.1 ypg) and first in points (37.9).
Defensively, the Bolts ranked 23rd in total defense (366.5 ypg), 29th in passing (258.7 ypg), 12th in rushing (107.8 ypg) and 11th in points allowed (21.8). Denver ranks 19th in total defense (356.0 ypg), 27th in passing (254.4 ypg), seventh in rushing (101.6 ypg) and 22nd in points allowed (24.9).
Accolades from the 2013 Season
Philip Rivers and Eric Weddle have both been selected for the 2014 Pro Bowl to be played Jan. 26, 2014 at Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. It’s the fifth-career Pro Bowl appointment for Rivers and the second for Weddle.
Twice this season, Philip Rivers has been named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. He earned his first award of 2013 in Week 2 after leading the Chargers to a 33-30 come-from-behind victory over the Eagles in Philadelphia. He then won it again after leading the Chargers to a 30-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium on Sept. 29. He passed for 401 yards and completed 35 of 42 (83.3 percent) in helping the Chargers rally from a 21-10 deficit for the win.
Nick Novak twice took home the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award. The first came after the Chargers’ 19-9 win when Novak scored 13 of the Chargers 19 points, connecting on four field goals against the Colts. That included a 50-yarder with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. Novak earned his second award after the Bolts’ Dec. 22 win over the Oakland Raiders in which he hit 4-of-4 field goals, including a 48-yarder late in the third quarter.
From the First Two Meetings
In the two games against the Broncos this season, Rivers combined to complete 31 of 49 (.633) for 384 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 107.9 rating.
Keenan Allen caught six passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns vs. Denver.
Ryan Mathews ran for a then season-high 127 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 29 carries in a Week 15 win.
The Bolts defense held the Broncos to their two lowest yardage outputs of the year.
Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy came to the Bolts from Denver. He spent the 2009-12 seasons as Denver’s offensive coordinator, in addition to serving as their quarterbacks coach in ’09. McCoy’s last two seasons (2011-12) were spent working under Broncos’ Head Coach John Fox.
Defensive Coordinator John Pagano and linebackers coach Joe Barry are both natives of Boulder, Colo. They both played football at Fairview High School in Boulder, where Pagano’s father, Sam, was the head coach.
Secondary coach Ron Milus came over from Denver with McCoy, having spent the 2011-12 seasons coaching the Broncos’ secondary. Prior to that, Milus coached the secondary for Fox in Carolina during the 2009-10 seasons.
Assistant special teams coach Craig Aukerman spent the 2010 season as a defensive assistant in Denver.
Chargers wide receiver
Besides his connections with McCoy, Broncos’ Head Coach John Fox served as the Chargers’ secondary coach from 1992-93 under former Head Coach Bobby Ross. Fox also was a graduate assistant at San Diego State. He attended both Southwestern CC and San Diego State, and is originally from Chula Vista, a San Diego suburb.
Broncos’ tight ends coach Clancy Barone held the same position with the Chargers from 2007-08 and offensive consultant Alex Gibbs was the Chargers’ assistant offensive line coach from 1990-91.
Broncos cornerback Quentin Jammer signed with Denver as a free agent in 2013 after spending his first 11 NFL seasons with the Chargers. Jammer was the Bolts’ first-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and in 11 seasons with the Bolts, he racked up 727 tackles and 21 interceptions, including a team-high three in his final season in 2012.
Outside linebacker Shaun Phillips is another former Bolt who signed with Denver as a free agent in ’13. A fourth-round pick in 2004, Phillips played nine seasons in San Diego and left as the team’s second all-time leader with 69.5 career sacks.
Denver also features former Chargers guard Louis Vasquez, a third-round pick in 2009, who played for the Bolts from 2009-12.
Broncos wide receiver Andre Caldwell is the younger brother of former Chargers wide receiver Reche Caldwell.
Running back Ronnie Hillman graduated from San Diego State University.
Wide receiver Wes Welker began his career as an undrafted rookie with the Chargers back in 2004.
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS, Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Jim Natz (play-by-play), Phil Simms (analyst), Tracy Wolfson (sidelines)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)
All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage after the game ends.
For a unique, one-of-a-kind look at the Chargers, be sure to tune in each week to Chargers Insider on Fox Sports San Diego. The half-hour program will be the go-to destination for fans that want behind-the-scenes coverage and unique features on the team. This week Chargers Insider airs on Thursday at 10:30pm as well as Friday at 9:30am and 11:30pm Saturday at 8:00am and Sunday at 8:30am. It will also air Saturday at 11:35pm on KFMB, Channel 8.