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2014 Game-by-Game: Week 8

Posted Jul 2, 2014

On Oct. 23, the Broncos' rivalry with the Chargers will grab the prime-time spotlight for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.


  • WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 23; 6:30 p.m. MDT.
  • WHERE: Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
  • TV: NFL Network and CBS.
  • SERIES RECORD: Broncos lead, 58-49-1 (Broncos lead, 1-0 in the postseason).
  • JOHN FOX'S RECORD: 5-3 (1-0 in the postseason).
  • PEYTON MANNING'S RECORD: 7-4 (1-2 in the postseason).
  • SERIES STREAK: Denver has won five of the last six, including the postseason. San Diego has won six of the last eight in Denver.
  • LAST TIME IN DENVER: Broncos 24, Chargers 17; Jan. 12, 2014. A late San Diego comeback fell short when tight end Julius Thomas caught a pair of third-down passes in the game's final moments, allowing the Broncos to run down the clock and escape with a win over a perennial nemesis. For much of the game, it appeared as if the Broncos would roll to a comfortable win; they took a 17-0 lead that was only held down by a pair of second-quarter turnovers and a missed Matt Prater field-goal attempt in the third quarter. But when cornerback Chris Harris Jr. suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament late in the third quarter, San Diego's offense awoke. The Chargers scored on three consecutive drives, with Philip Rivers throwing repeatedly at Harris' replacement, ex-San Diego mainstay Quentin Jammer. But the Broncos escaped by chewing up the last 3:51 of the game, thanks to Thomas' to third-down receptions and, finally, a 5-yard Knowshon Moreno run on third-and-1 to ice the game.
  • LAST TIME IN DENVER IN THE REGULAR SEASON: Chargers 27, Broncos 20; Dec. 13, 2013. Philip Rivers' regular-season mastery of the Broncos in Denver continued, as he threw two touchdown passes in leading the Chargers to their sixth win in their last eight trips to Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos sprinted to a 7-0 lead via a 67-yard, game-opening drive capped by a 15-yard Peyton Manning-to-Andre Caldwell touchdown pass. San Diego scored 24 of the next 27 points, as Rivers and running back Ryan Mathews kept the Brocnos off balance. San Diego had touchdown marches of 43, 75 and 80 yards. But the most damaging possession might have been an eight-minute, 20-second march that was halted at midfield late in the third quarter, but should have ended nearly seven minutes earlier. The defense had forced a three-and-out on the series, which began at the San Diego 1-yard-line. But on the fourth-and-4 punt, Nate Irving was called for a neutral-zone infraction. The five-yard penalty gave San Diego a first down, and helped the Chargers gobble up six minutes, 55 seconds of clock time. That gave the Broncos no margin for error in their fourth-quarter comeback attempt, which ultimately fell short.

NOTING THE GAME:

  • This will be the second consecutive year in which the Chargers have traveled to Denver to play on Thursday Night Football. This will also mark the eighth time in the last nine yard that at least one Chargers-Broncos game has been showcased in prime time.
  • The teams have split the series in four of the last six years, with San Diego sweeping the games in 2010 and the Broncos doing the same two years later. 
  • The Broncos are 4-3 on NFL Network's Thursday night package, which this year will be shared with CBS. Last year's loss snapped a four-game Broncos winning streak on TNF
  • The Chargers have won six of their last eight games at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, a run that began when Rivers became their starting quarterback in 2006. In the previous 37 seasons, the Chargers won just five games in Denver, going 5-31-1 in the Mile High City during that span.
  • The last four Broncos-Chargers games in Denver have been decided by seven points or less.
  • Four of San Diego running back Ryan Mathews' 11 career 100-yard rushing games have come against the Broncos. The Chargers have won three of these four performances, including last December, when he rushed for 127 yards on 29 carries.