With the rest of Week 7 in the books I am now officially 68-37-1 on the year. Here’s to another great week of pro football. Now if only my college record could be this good. Let’s begin with an AFC West divisional matchup.
Chargers at Broncos
San Diego’s Keys to Victory:
1. Rivers can’t force it: Part of the reason San Diego lost that game against the Chiefs last week was because Phillip Rivers was trying to force some passes that turned into incompletions. Rivers has revitalized his career, and he has what it takes to upset Peyton Manning at home. He just needs to calm down and make smart decisions.
2. Brandon Oliver must get going: The Chargers rookie sensation at running back wasn’t able to get anything going on the ground last week. Denver has a tough rushing defense so it will be a little difficult against them compared to Kansas City, but they need to make long drives to stop a certain someone. Which leads to #3.
3. Keep Peyton Manning off the field: The longer you take, the less time he is out there. Take long drives, get touchdowns, and for the love of God don’t commit turnovers. Manning will definitely make you pay should that happen.
Denver’s Keys to Victory:
1. Hillman, Hillman, Hillman: Ronnie Hillman rushed for two touchdowns last week against the 49ers. The Chargers are going to key in on Peyton, but that should open up some lanes for Hillman that he can easily take advantage of.
2. Don’t let San Diego get its running game going: Denver lost at home last year because Ryan Matthews pounded them for over 100 yards. Rivers also had less than 200 yards passing that game. If Denver can force Rivers to beat them through the air, than that might make things more favorable for the Broncos. Rivers is 10-7 against Denver, but only 1-4 against them since Manning arrived in 2012.
3. Spread the wealth: Denver has a lot of great offensive weapons. Use all the toys in the sandbox (Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders) and you should be fine. This is a great offense, and once all the pieces start clicking into place it’s fantastic to watch.
My Pick: I know I’ve spoken a lot of praise about Denver’s offense, but I think they will be in for an upset tonight. San Diego always plays Denver tough, and I think Phillip Rivers has what it takes to beat Manning this time around. The Chargers are playing much better football than they did last year, and Denver is in for a surprise.
Other Week 8 Picks (besides Packers at Saints)
Colts over Steelers
Cowboys over Redskins
Texans over Titans
Seahawks over Panthers
Cardinals over Eagles
Dolphins over Jaguars
Chiefs over Rams
Patriots over Bears
Jets over Bills
Buccaneers over Vikings
Lions over Falcons
Ravens over Bengals
Browns over Raiders
49ers and Giants have byes this week.
Stay Classy Everyone!